So you work in the Life Sciences sector and thanks to the help of our team of recruiters you've just signed a contract for a job in Belgium? Congratulations! You will now be supported by our immigration and relocation experts so you can smoothly prepare for your arrival in the country. Julie Flémal, Relocation Strategy & Operations Manager tells you more about the next steps.
It takes 4 months for you to emigrate from a non-European country to Belgium. Once you hold an employment contract signed with a company located on Belgian soil, you then need to obtain 2 permits before arriving in the country:
- a work permit
- a residence permit
Once the documents required for these permits have been given to you by your employer, you must then submit them on the national platform. The ministries then take over regionally.
After your work permit is granted by the Ministry of Labour, you must then contact the Foreign Office to obtain a residence permit.
The documents are next sent to the embassy in the country of origin. You can then apply for your own visa as well as visas for your family members at the embassy. You can now travel to Belgium.
We offer a wide variety of services that are tailored individually to all Talent arriving in Belgium.
We'll look for temporary accommodation for you to cover you in the first few weeks after you arrive.
Please note that for non-Europeans, you are legally required to start your registration within 8 days, applying at the local council office, but this is not possible via a hotel or Airbnb address. You can only do this from an address you have contracted for 3 months minimum.In fact, a local police officer will be tasked with making a surprise visit to verify that you live at this address. Once this has been verified, they will report this to the authorities and the latter will then send you a summons to an appointment so you can get your resident's ID.
If you have signed a contract for accommodation of under 3 months, you will then have to wait for permanent accommodation before you can register.
Once you arrive on Belgian soil, we can start searching for some permanent accommodation for you, based on your criteria. It will then be over to our on-site consultants to pre-select properties for you from estate agents. We'll support you with the various vists, we'll check and reread the lease contract and the entry inventory (completed by a surveyor) right up until the handing over of the keys.
Then we can help you with sorting all the various housing insurance policies such as rental warranties or civil liability insurance for example and we'll help you set up all the utilities contracts including water, electricity, internet, etc.
Procedures after arrival in Belgium
Once you've arrived in Belgium, we can begin the procedures for opening a bank account, as a face-to-face signature is required.
In health matters, it is your employer who is responsible for registering you with social security. You must also get insurance from a mutual insurance company to get the compulsory minimum coverage.
If you have a family that is immigrating too, you must first wait for registration by the local authorities to be completed (the procedure can take up to 3 months). During this time, it is important for your family members to temporarily hold valid health insurance from your country of origin, or special international insurance.
For driving licences, you need to check if your country's driving licences are recognised in Belgium. If so, there are several steps to take. After registration with the local authorities, a 185-day counter starts. After this period, your original licence will no longer be valid and must then be exchanged at the council office for a Belgian licence. This national licence is sent to a specific police department to verify the validity of the document (the processing time can vary from 8 to 12 weeks). During this time, you will have to use public transport as driving will be illegal until your licence is verified.
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