Moving to Belgium – How to Streamline Your Process of Relocation
The top places to live in the world continually include Belgium. It is an industrialized country with excellent infrastructure. Belgian expats benefit from a high standard of living, which consists of a wide range of entertainment options, first-rate medical services, and superb educational systems.
Do you consider moving to Belgium an exciting idea? Then, IMovingTo will comprehensively guide you and let you become a Belgian expat without any obstacles.
Brief Info About Belgian Culture: Socio-Political Context
Belgium’s transformation into a trilingual Constitution is a relatively new change that represents the first step toward developing a federal state. You may hear locals speaking various forms of French, Dutch, or German, depending on the area you choose to relocate to. Even if all three are recognized as official, they may not always coexist.
For instance, while about 60% of the residents of Belgium speak Dutch due to the impact of the Netherlands as a close neighbor, only a tiny fraction of Belgium, which is close to Germany, speaks German. Also, due to the strong influence of France, French is the other official language spoken by the majority of the population as well.
When foreigners first arrive in Belgium, they are frequently astonished by how complex the political structure is. In most cases, expats in Belgium discover that the local linguistic group significantly influences their perception of the nation. The absence of national cultural infrastructure may make moving to Belgium more difficult.
Cost of living in Belgium
Belgians have an excellent standard of living, but it comes at a rather high cost of living. For individuals over the age of 18 who work full-time, the minimum wage in Belgium is €1,625.72 per month. Since the Euro is the official currency of Belgium, expats who live there can take advantage of the Euro’s strength when traveling within Europe and beyond.
The majority of foreigners in Belgium prefer to rent. Renting a property with 2 bathrooms and 3 bedrooms is feasible when you contrast average rental costs with the national average wage in Belgium. The least expensive of the four major Belgian cities to rent a 3-bedroom apartment. You will only spend, on average, €1,050 per month there.
The following numerical aspects of living will enhance your understanding of what to expect after moving to Belgium.
- Three-course meal for a couple in a mid-range restaurant: €70
- Monthly transport pass: €49
- Basic bills for a small apartment: €172.40
- Cinema ticket: €11
How to Apply for a Visa/Permit in Belgium
- An employee visa – This visa is only provided with a work permit, which your employer should first obtain. You should provide 2 completed application forms, 2 passport photos, a criminal history declaration for 1 year before your application, and a copy of the medical certificate in addition to your passport.
- Self-employed visa – Before you apply for a self-employed visa, you need permission from the Federal Public Service for Economy, SMEs, Self-Employed, and Energy. This authorization is in the form of a “professional card,” which can be requested by submitting the required documentation to the Belgian embassy.
- Manager visa – Senior managers who receive more than 66,406 EUR annually are typically exempt from the general requirement for a work permit. However, they still need a resident visa and should submit the same visa documentation as employees.
- Student visa – In addition to your passport, you should submit 2 application forms that are filled out, 2 passport photos, and a criminal history disclosure for the year before your application. You also require proof of your financial capability, a medical certificate, and an acceptance letter from your university.
- Research visa – Scientists and post-docs conducting research in Belgium or who have a hosting agreement with a recognized research institute are typically free from the requirement for a work permit.
Moving Your Household Belongings in Belgium
Managing the transportation of your belongings to your new home is one of the most crucial components of moving abroad. Whether you can drive or ship them will largely depend on where you are coming from.
You can ship your belongings to Belgium by air, sea, rail, or road, depending on your financial circumstances and the amount of time you have allotted. You might wish to hire a relocation company to move your household belongings internationally to save time and reduce tension. They will accomplish the process on your behalf and handle any obstacles, including customs clearance.
While moving by sea is the best option if you need to move quickly or have a lot of heavy or bulky possessions, moving by air is the better decision if you want to move a few light or compact objects. But sending your things by air comes at a high price. Road or rail transit may be preferable when moving to Belgium from another European nation. Moving your belongings is a quick, affordable, and secure option.
How to Get a Belgian Health Insurance
One of the best healthcare systems in Europe is found in Belgium. It receives considerable funding through Belgium’s mandatory social security and health insurance contributions.
After registering for Social Security, you can enroll in one of Belgium’s numerous public health insurance programs. This enables them to request a percentage of the medical expenses they spent in Belgium and other European nations to be reimbursed.
Patients who sign up for one of these programs may be eligible to receive reimbursements for 50% to 75% of their medical expenses.
Some citizens of Belgium also sign up for supplemental private insurance to cover the cost of their medical care. Some companies include supplementary health insurance as part of their employee benefits package. Make sure the premium provided meets your actual medical demands if this is the case. Individual prices for health insurance vary, so it’s crucial to carefully consider your options before choosing a particular plan.
Most Effective Ways to Take Care of Your Finances
Having a solid understanding of your financial status is crucial if you’re moving to Belgium. After all, you’ll be surprised by how rapidly your money disappears even when you strive to keep costs low whenever possible. There are always additional expenses and fees that even the most well-planned relocation doesn’t account for, as any experienced expat can tell you.
You should use an online money transfer provider to keep fees as low as possible while sending money abroad. This might be an excellent way to transfer money to Belgium without incurring bank fees. This is a great strategy to get by till that essential first payday. The following are some of the top money transfer services:
- World Remit
- Currency Fair
Moreover, Belgians have switched from traditional banking to mobile apps and websites. Consequently, the field of digital banking has grown significantly in recent years.
Career Opportunities for Expats in Belgium
Belgium is a wonderful destination to consider if you’re searching for a job in public affairs or social policy. However, since so many individuals in the nation are multilingual, you might not be able to compete with other applicants if you just speak one language. Opportunities can also be found in highly skilled fields like engineering and computing, where there is currently a labor shortage. Yet again, Belgians expect foreigners to speak at least two languages well.
Through the European Job Mobility Portal, you can find employment in Belgium if you’re from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland.
Every region of Belgium has a public employment office where you can search through job opportunities, post your resume, look for training programs, or speak with a counselor for assistance with your job search online or in person.
How to Find Accommodation in Belgium
Is a beautiful seaside townhouse your ideal Belgian residence? Or perhaps it’s a charming flat in one of the old-world districts of Bruges or Ghent.
Whatever the concept of your ideal new home may be, you’ll likely need to find temporary accommodation during your first few weeks in Belgium. This will allow you time to decide where to live in Belgium, and is often the easiest housing type.
When an expat first arrives in Belgium, their new company might already have arranged accommodation for them. A serviced apartment can be a good choice for the first few weeks or months if you need a temporary place to stay.
As an alternative, you might discover longer-term leases on online housing listings.
Best Places to Live in Belgium
The features that will enrich your life in Brussels include museums of all sizes, stunning architecture, wonderful restaurants and shops, comic strips, an abundance of street art, a buzzing nightlife, and, on top of that, neighborhoods where you can still feel the real pulse of old Brussels.
Due to its significance to the regional economy and long history, Antwerp is referred to as the world’s diamond capital. The city was one of the most significant locations and ports throughout the 16th century.
Ghent is a wonderful region of Belgium. It is simple to navigate and offers interesting historical structures and beautiful scenery. Ghent seems authentic and distinctive because of its attractions and local flair.
The traditional modules, enticing chocolates, and famed Belgian waffles are all available in Ghent, along with beer.
Pros & Cons of Living in Belgium
High standard of life
Belgium’s liberal leadership style and distinctive way of life have established standards for economic success that its neighbors have not yet achieved. Belgium’s liberal political views contribute to its reputation as a safe and welcoming nation.
Moreover, you can also expect wonderful cuisine, fluffy Belgian waffles, crunchy fries, and, of course, excellent chocolate.
The world’s most beautiful country is unquestionably Belgium. It is a country of canals, verdant landscapes, charming towns, and everything else delights the heart and the mind. Exploring the nation is a wonderful opportunity that you should not skip. Belgium is renowned for its highway, thousands of castles, and creative brains.
Brussels is the city to reside in if you want to feel completely connected to Europe. Due to the excellent public transportation, particularly the rail system, London is only 2.5 hours away, Paris is only 1 hour and 20 minutes away, and Frankfurt is only 3.5 hours away.
Brussels has horrible traffic. It is difficult to get a parking spot, which is uncomfortable. You’ll spend lots of money and time on it. Due to Belgium’s extensive sub-urbanization, local and long-distance traffic is blended, which increases traffic congestion and causes crashes. Traffic congestion is a normal part of life in Brussels.
Before moving to Belgium, you should be ready for some short, gloomy, wet winter days because the sun does not shine quite often. In Belgium, winter begins in November and lasts through March. In Belgium, the wintertime temperature varies from around 3 to 7 degrees Celsius.
If you intend to live in an industrialized country with excellent infrastructure and a high standard of living, then Belgium is a preferable option.
So, take advantage of international relocation services at IMovingTo, and we will make sure to streamline your moving process without any hesitation!