Moving to Belgium from UK for many expats is a popular choice, and already the expat community in this tiny country makes up a tenth of the population.
Why choose to live in Belgium? The country has an excellent infrastructure and public services, a good standard of living, excellent healthcare and first rate education and child care system. The standard of living in Belgium is high at the same time comes at a high cost. However, most people choosing to live here relocate from other western European countries, and could find it cheaper than their home land. The fact that the currency is Euro’s is an advantage to expats living in the country especially, when travelling throughout other European countries. EU citizens can live and work in Belgium and the only obligation being to register for a resident permit after work has been found. Though, non EU citizens have considerable challenges to overcome to reside in Belgium.
Belgium is a small country with a population of about 10 million, and for its size it is heavily populated. It borders the Netherlands to the north, France to the southwest, Germany to the east and Luxembourg to the southeast. The country consists of three almost independent regions, with each having different languages. The capital city is Brussels and European Union headquarters and is bilingual. Flanders to the north and is where most of Belgium’s industrial resources are located. Over half of the population live here and mainly speak Dutch and Flemish. Finally, Wallonia is in the south and a predominantly French speaking area with about 10% of the population residing here. Belgium is a beautiful country with a wealth of history, displayed in buildings and art work. It is famous for its beer, chocolate and popular main dish Moules-frites of mussels and fries.
Moving to Belgium from UK can be a challenge as in other countries. But, opportunities exist and if you are searching for work in the higher skills area such as computing and engineering, shortages still exist. One of the main problems that expats face in Belgium is language. As most native Belgians speak at least two languages competition will be tougher for an expat when applying for work.
Other facts worth knowing when moving to Belgium from UK are rental properties are leased not equipped with appliances and furniture. Leases in
Belgium should be registered at the local office of the receiver of registrations, ministry of finance within the 4 months of it being signed. If this is late you will be fined.
A lot of employers pay an extra 13th month bonus to workers, which is paid at the end of the financial year.
Any foreign documents you have in Belgium need to be legalized. You will need to get a numbered and dated certificate which is known as Apostille, for all forms and paperwork you submit that derive from outside of Belgium. All Belgium residents over 12 years old need to carry their identity cards at all times. You can be arrested for up to 12 hours if you are not able to produce the card when asked.
If you are contemplating moving to Belgium from UK and need more details https://www.gov.uk/living-in-belgium