5 things you need to know before moving to Belgium
There are a lot of things to do before moving to another country.
Here are 5 things you should consider before moving in Belgium. Follow this checklist and you'll be prepared for every challenge!
Registration at the City Hall
Any foreigner wishing to stay in Belgium for more than 3 months must register at the town hall where they live within 8 days of arrival. To register, you need the official address and a valid ID.
What happens if I don't register at City Hall?
If you do not register, you do not have a national registration number in Belgium. As a result, you can often lose the right to various benefits (collective closure, payment for adverse weather conditions, etc.). Administrative penalties may also be imposed (+/- € 150 and may vary from region to region).
Health insurance fund
In Belgium, a health insurance fund commonly referred to as a "mutual society" manages compulsory health insurance. Membership of a health insurance fund (or "insurance institution") is compulsory for:
• Everyone who starts working
• All those who study and are 25 years old
• All those who receive unemployment benefits
This insurance reimburses part of the medical costs recognized by the National Institute of Social Insurance (RIZIV). He also pays benefits in the event of incapacity for work. In Belgium, every resident can apply for one of the recognized health insurance funds. Partena is one of our partners and we can help you with the procedures, but you are free to sign up for any other insurance fund of your choice. At Partena the prices are between €100 - €140 annually.
What happens if I do not register with a health insurance mutual society?
If you do not register, you will have to cover all costs related to medical interventions, treatments, medicines, hospitalization or any other health service in Belgium. You also do not have the right to be paid in case of illness, temporary payments in case of an accident at work, childbirth bonus, etc.
What benefits do I get if I register?
The mutual society pays a large part of the costs of your doctor's visits, some medicines, part of the costs in case of accident, hospitalization, part of your salary in case of illness, etc.
Will all costs be reimbursed?
No, if you stay in the hospital, mutuality may not be enough. It is recommended that you purchase additional insurance if there is an integrated hospitalization package. Your Accent Consultant can provide you with more information about this type of insurance.
In the event of an accident at work, your personal insurance is not covered, and accident insurance covers all medical costs.
Rental legislation in Belgium
Once you are renting a house in Belgium, there are few things you should know:
• There has to be a written agreement between the tenant and the landlord that both parts sign before the tenant moves in.
• There is also a rental warranty to be paid equivalent to 3 months rent according to Belgian legislation.
• The tenant has full responsibility to pay the rent regularly and on time.
• Also, he has the responsibility to pay all utility invoices such as: electricity, gas, water, internet and fire insurance.
• It’s your duty to keep and maintain the accommodation in proper conditions. All the costs for damages would be supported by you as renter.
• You have the free will to share the house with someone else as long as the landlord is informed about it and if the residence suited to house the amount of inhabitants. There is strict regulation that limits the amount of persons allowed to stay for each property.
• You are obliged to notice the landlord in time about your departure. Normally this is three months before the birthday of the renting contract.
Once you have an employment contract in Belgium, your taxes will be paid here as well. There is an amount that will be deducted from your weekly / monthly income, and in May / June you will receive an invitation from the Belgian financial institution to declare your income for the previous year.
The declaration can be presented in several ways:
• Paper version: In this case you have until the end of June to submit the form.
Most cities have a designated office where they can help you fill out this form for free. The address and the program will be found in the envelope together with the invitation.
• Tax-on-Web: In this case, you have until mid-July to submit the electronic form. For more information on this: https://finances.belgium.be/fr/E-services/Tax-on-web
• As completing taxes is not always so easy, you can ask a specialist to help you in some cities. Accent can help you find an accountant according to prices ranging from 50-200 €. Spend good money if you are safe with your taxes.
Your life in Belgium
If you decide to build a future life in Belgium, we warmly invite you to take an integration course. This program contains:
• A language course
• A course on life in Belgium, where you will learn about the labor market, the school system, life, your rights and duties and many other disciplines.
• Can help you find a school for your children
• Information on sports, culture and leisure