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As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country?

Nationals of the EU countries and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland enjoy free movement. An identity card or passport to establish the identity and nationality of the holder is enough to allow a person to enter Belgium and remain there, provided that his or her stay is regularized with the municipal authorities. A national of a non-European Union Country who wishes to stay in Belgium requires a visa.

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What kinds of visas are available?

  • Short stay visa (up to 90 days): for visitors, business travellers, short-term work, internships or education,
  • Long stay visa (more than 90 days): for permanent workers or visitors.

Keep in mind that citizens of the EU countries and Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland do not need a visa.

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What is required to obtain these visas?

To get a visa for Belgium, one must visit the Belgian consulate in your country of residence to hand in your visa application and to give further information about the goal and context of your travels to Belgium.

The necessary documents to apply for a visa are:

  • Filled-in and signed application form
  • Valid travel documents (e.g. a passport)
  • A recent passport photo
  • A certificate of good conduct (criminal history record)
  • A medical certificate

The general rule is that the number and type of documents that have to be handed in depend on the duration and goal of your intended travels. It is possible that you will be asked to provide additional documents or that some documents aren’t needed.

You will also have to pay a handling fee of € 60 to cover the administration coasts of your application.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

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Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?

A spouse is permitted to work if she has a work permit. If you are a national of one of the EU countries or Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland, or married to a citizen of an EU-member state, you do not need a work permit.

Obtaining a work permit is not always easy. Spouses are most likely to find work with the help of an employment agency or through personal contacts.

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What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?

Identity cards are handed out to Belgian nationals from the age of 12. It is mandatory to have the identity card with you at all times from the age of 15.

Every foreigner, over the age of 12, who has a residence permit, is issued a foreigners card. It is necessary to carry this card with you at all times.

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Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?

You must register at your local town hall within eight days of arrival and apply for a residence permit. A local police officer will check if you are indeed living at the address you have provided. Subsequently, your residence permit can be issued.

You must present the following documents:

  • A valid passport or identity card
  • Five recent passport pictures
  • A valid work permit (if applicable)
  • Depending on your nationality, visa and the duration and reason of your stay you might need to present additional documents, such as:
  • A certificate of good conduct (criminal history record),
  • A medical certificate.

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What items should I avoid bringing into the country?

Products of animal origin: apart from some exceptions the EU rules do not allow the importation of meat, meat products, milk and milk products by travellers.

Animals or plants: travellers must be aware that certain wildlife animals or plants and parts thereof are protected by the Convention of Washington (CITES). The importation of these specimens is strongly restricted following the EU rules implementing the CITES-Convention.

Travelling with cash: travellers entering or leaving the EU and carrying € 10 000 or more in cash (or its equivalent in other currencies or easily convertible assets) have to make a declaration to the customs authorities.

If you enter the EU from a non-EU country, goods having no commercial character in your personal luggage can be imported free of customs duties, VAT and excise duties. Please be aware of the fact that there are restrictions regarding the quantity of some goods such as tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.

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Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?

Please contact Crown Brussels for further information.

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Useful Links

 

Brussels-Capital region – information for expats

http://brussels.irisnet.be/living-in-brussels/expats?set_language=en

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation

http://diplomatie.belgium.be

Foreigners Department of the FPS Home Affairs

https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/index.html

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Please contact your closest embassy or consulate for confirmation.

 

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