Moving to Brussels from another country is no easy task. Whether you plan to settle in Brussels permanently or relocate for better career or study options, it takes a lot of time and organization to ensure a smooth transition into life in a new country.
How to move to Brussels: A checklist for newcomers
We’ve created a handy moving to Brussels checklist, which will provide you with a step-by-step guide of all the things you need to do.
✓ Schedule appointment with a Belgian bank
Some financial institutions, like BNP Paribas (expats link), Belfius (website), KBC (expats link), ING (expats link) allow you to start the bank account opening process. Don’t forget to bring your passport, work contract, evidence of legal residency (see further). When your bank account is obtained, provide your account number to your payroll.
✓ Schedule apartment visits
In Brussels, most visits are done in person, however at [rezidentz] you can visit our fully furnished studios virtually. We offer a minimum of 3 months rental, while in general it is a minimum of 1 year. It is important to know the basic rules concerning lease contracts before signing. Remember that you will need to pay a guarantee, make an inventory and also be aware that rents are very often index-linked and are normally increased every year in line with a fixed index. Renting a property will necessitate a contract with a provider of utilities like water, electricity or insurance but not at [rezidentz] since everything is included in the rent.
✓ Go to your commune for registration
Belgium requires all foreigners to register with their local municipality if they plan to stay for longer than three months. You must report to the local municipality (maison communale/gemeentehuis) within eight days of arriving in Belgium. This process places you on the country’s Foreigner Register and ensures you are provided with a Belgian residency permit and multi-purpose national ID number. The electronic identity card, or eID, is the legal identity card in Belgium. Be aware that around two weeks after you register, police officers will visit the address you give to ensure you’re living there. (Read also: Giovanni sharing tips on how to domiciliate in Brussels)
✓ Get a cellphone plan
There are two main ways to get a Belgian SIM card and a local phone number: a prepaid SIM and a mobile contract.
You can sign up for a preloaded card without an apartment lease but need a lease to establish residency. Don’t forget to bring your passport and lease.
Mobile companies include Orange, Orange Entreprise, Proximus, Scarlet, Base, Mobile Vikings.
✓ Sign up for health insurance
Everyone who lives in Belgium is obliged to join a ‘mutuelle’ or health insurance provider. This guarantees the reimbursement of most medical, pharmaceutical and hospital-related expenses.
Some of the leading health insurance providers in Belgium include: Partenamut (expats link), Mutuelle Socialiste , Mutuelle Chrétienne (expats link).
Don’t forget to bring your passport, work contract, evidence of legal residency. Also before arriving it’s worth getting you European health insurance from your own country.
Would you also like to find your home away from home? Check out our recent openings and fill out the form to pick the most matching location!
Good luck and welcome to Belgium !