Expat in Belgium? Discover our checklist
Moving to Belgium for your work? A big step! And no doubt one you did not take lightly. And since the key to any successful venture is good preparation, we thought we’d help you get started with the 9 essential things to consider:
1. Take care of all formalities and documents
You can't get anything done without the proper paperwork. And that goes for entering Belgium as well. So don't forget these important documents:
- your international passport, if you are coming from outside the European Union
- your work permit and residence permit
- your de-registration in your home country and registration in Belgium
Find out well on time how long all these procedures take. Make copies of your birth certificate and marriage certificate and, if possible, have them translated into Dutch, French or German.
2. Find a place to stay and organise your move
Naturally, you’re going to need a roof over your head in Belgium. If you’re not staying long, you could arrange a temporary solution in the form of a hotel. But if you’re planning to stay longer, renting or even buying a house or apartment is your best option. You’ll find plenty of choices via the Internet or an estate agent.
Be sure to ask if your accommodation comes furnished or unfurnished and which utilities such as water, gas, electricity, telephone and internet are already connected and/or included. Also think about a mobile telephone subscription, your post and, if you like, a newspaper subscription.
It’s also advisable to arrange decent fire insurance, even if you are renting. ING now offers Home Insurance that is specifically tailored to your situation, whether you are an owner or a tenant. It is not only quick and easy to apply for a policy but most importantly to get the assistance you need in the event of a claim.
Your employer may also provide you with a ‘relocator’ who will provide professional support and assistance during your relocation. Be sure to find out who will pay for this service and what this person will do for you.
3. Make arrangements for your family
Will your family be coming with you? Then it may be important for your partner to find a decent job in Belgium. And you can make the transition smoother for your children by looking for a school well on time. Have any pets? Don't forget them!
4. Sign up for healthcare and social security
First of all, before your leave you should visit your family doctor to make sure you’re up to date with all necessary vaccinations and while you’re there, have a thorough medical check-up.
Also check your insurance policies and social status in Belgium. And don't forget to modify any treatments or medication if necessary.
Then there’s the matter of your pension. In Belgium, there is a statutory pension which you can supplement via your company or privately if you wish. Feel free to ask an ING employee about the possibilities.
5. Feel at home in Belgium
Find out what Belgium has to offer and look up as much information as possible on the country and its regions before you move.
Once you arrive, a language course can be very useful. And making ties with your colleagues and other expats is a perfect way to start establishing a new network!
6. Don't forget taxation matters
Before you leave, be ure to submit a final tax return in your home country and apply to be taxed here in Belgium as a resident.
Wondering how your income will be taxed here in Belgium? The ING Expat Team is here to help with a free tax check!
7. Organise a car
Planning to buy a car in Belgium? You will need the following:
- A Belgian license plate;
- Belgian car insurance, for example from ING.
If you are bringing your own car with you, you will need to have it imported and registered in Belgium. Ask your relocator or removal company for assistance.
8. Keep in touch on the home front
Report to the local consulate of your home country in Belgium as soon as you can. They can provide you with extra assistance, especially in the event of any problems or difficulties.
9. Check your bank affairs
A new bank account with a bank and credit card? Home insurance? Loans? The ING Expat Team is ready to help you. They will help you with every aspect of your finances, including a free insurance check. Contact them today for more info!
Looking for a place to rent in Belgium? In that case, you’ll need a good Home Insurance policy. Discover ING Home Insurance. This complete and fully personalised insurance is quick and easy to take out and ensures you’ll get the support you need, when you need it. Even in the event of theft, water damage or extreme weather.
Discover our checklist!
Want to go through everything again, step by step? Take a look at our handy checklist for expats in Belgium and tick things off as you complete them.