“Making Residency Formalities Seamless as a Trainee in the European Capital”

My Journey to Finding a Registered Home in Brussels with [rezidentz]

When I first started searching for an apartment in Brussels as a trainee at the European Parliament, I encountered a major challenge. It was difficult to find a temporary accommodation for a few months that allowed me to register as a resident, which is a requirement for EU citizens staying in Belgium for over 3 months. I planned to stay here for 6 months. This is one of the reasons why I ultimately decided to opt for [rezidentz] as my apartment rental company. They made the process of obtaining a long-term stay in Belgium much easier and stress-free.

Here’s what I had to do:

Step 1: Obtaining a Certificate of Registration Application
Within three months of my arrival in Belgium, I had to present myself to the municipal authority in my place of residence with the following documents: valid passport or ID card, lease contract from [rezidentz], health insurance, status document and passport photos. Fortunately, I was informed by a neighbor in our building’s WhatsApp group that getting an appointment might take some time. So, I quickly went to the website that was shared in the group and booked an appointment for myself. Please note that securing an appointment may require up to three months. Therefore, it is essential to retain proof of your appointment (a screenshot is acceptable). Importantly, the requirement is not to complete registration within eight days of your arrival, but rather to have submitted a request for registration within this timeframe.

After presenting these documents, I had to pay a small fee, and the municipality then issued an “application for a registration” valid for three months.

Step 2: Control of Residency
The municipality verified my presence or absence on its territory, usually with the help of the police. A local police officer or “agent de quartier” visited the declared address and checked that my name corresponded to the declaration. Very soon after I moved in, a representative of [rezidentz] had already planned it by placing my name on the doorbell of my apartment. The municipality evaluated several criteria to determine if I actually lived at the address. The fact that it is an all-inclusive rental has facilitated the process of domiciliation because it is the rental company [rezidentz] that takes care of paying all the bills. There is no need to justify anything. Energy consumption (gas, electricity, and water) is invoiced automatically to the them.

Once the inquiry was positive, my entry in the population register was confirmed, and I received a “national number” or NISS, which enabled me to be identified in Belgium.

Step 3: Residence Permit
After about three months, I was called by the commune to receive my residence permit. The municipality gave me the documents available in two formats: a paper format with unlimited validity (free but not popular) or an electronic format (E Card) with an electronic chip and a five-year, renewable validity (cost about 20€ and very practical). I chose the E Card, ordered it, and received my pin and puk codes at home to activate the card at the commune.

Overall, the process of registering as a resident in Belgium was smooth and straightforward, thanks to [rezidentz] providing a lease contract and the help of the municipal authorities. I hope my experience can be of help to other tenants at [rezidentz].

Giovanni, trainee at the European Parliament

Read also: Checklist for newcomers to Brussels