Moving to Belgium


Belgians who are returning home

If you were registered at an embassy or consulate, and are now definitively returning to Belgium, it is in your interests to notify them before you leave.

In principle, you should report to your new municipality within eight working days of your arrival in Belgium. After confirming your main place of residence you are recorded in the national register. Your new municipality will notify the municipality where you had your main residence before you moved abroad. If this municipality still holds your administrative records, they will forward them to your new municipality.

As soon as you have been registered the procedure starts for issuing a new identity card.

Foreign nationals

If you are not Belgian and you wish to move to Belgium, you must have the necessary residence documents. The residence procedure which a foreign national must follow depends on his nationality and on the duration and purpose of his stay in Belgium.

The free movement of persons applies within the European Union, making the residence rules for EU citizens much more flexible than those for the citizens of other countries. "Free movement" also applies to countries in the European Economic Area (EEA): in addition to the EU states, these are Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein. However, there are transitional rules for certain new EU Member States.

More information about residence documents for foreign nationals in Belgium:
- residence documents for Belgium

Registering with the municipal authorities

If as a foreign national you wish to stay in Belgium for longer than three months, you must report to the municipality in which you are staying within eight days of your arrival. You must be registered on the National Register; and for that you must have an actual place of residence in this municipality.