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Want to immigrate to Belgium? Here is your guide on citizenship, residency and visa options.
Why move to Belgium?
Belgium citizenship or residency offers you access to a strong economy in a stable country at the heart of modern Europe.
Belgium is known for fries, chocolate and beer, beautiful cities, and is the home of the European Parliament. A career in politics brings many people to Brussels, but that’s not all the country has to offer.
Belgium is very affordable compared to its neighbouring countries, but still one of the richest nations in the world. Housing is cheaper and the general cost of living not nearly as expensive as France and the Netherlands.
Belgian food is known in Europe as delicious and of outstanding quality. Belgians love taking their time for a good meal. They also speak their own language. Because a large part of the country speaks Flemish and the other part French, most Belgians speak both of these languages as well as English. Business cards are often printed in Dutch on one side, and French on the other.
Belgians are often hard-working, result-oriented people, who can be quite reserved at first. They value politeness but also find personal relationships very important and it is common to get to know someone a bit before starting to do business.
Belgium offers a number of residency and visa options. All permanent residency options offer a pathway to Belgium citizenship and a Belgium passport.
Belgium is part of the EU so people with citizenship of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) can move, live and work freely in Belgium.
If you are considering a move to Belgium you may be planning a trip to assess the suitability of living and working in Belgium. To visit you may need a Belgium tourist visa. See details below.
Belgium Tourist Visa
Belgium is part of the SCHENGEN area. As such a Belgium tourist visa gives you the right to visit any SCHENGEN Country for up to 90 days. To see if you need to apply for a Belgium tourist visa, please use the Visa HQ tool to the right.
Belgium Family Visas
If your spouse is a Belgium citizen or permanent resident of Belgium, you are probably eligible for residency. Marriage to a Belgian citizen does not have a direct influence on your nationality. Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
See the Belgium citizenship section below for more information on residency or citizenship based on descent.
Belgium Working Holiday Visa
Citizens of Australia, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan aged 18–30 may be eligible for a 12-month Belgian working holiday visa
Belgium Student Visa or Study Visa
If you are over 16 years of age and have been accepted into an approved educational institution you may be eligible for a Belgium Student visa.
Belgium Work or Business Visas
If you have a recognized university degree or professional experience as well as a work contract or binding job offer, you may be eligible for an “EU Blue Card”. The Blue Card is a four-year temporary work and residence permit. This also gives you free movement within the Schengen area and enables your family to join you. If you do not have a work contract or job offer, you can register on the EU Blue Card Network, where European employers can view your details and connect with you around job opportunities. This is also where you apply for the EU Blue Card.
If are not eligible for an EU Blue Card but you are coming to work for a company in Belgium, you’ll need to apply on the regional website where you will be working. Belgium is divided into three different regions; Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital region and each has its own local government and policies.
Belgium citizenship offers a range of benefits. A Belgium passport is one of the world’s most sought after. The Belgium passport was recently rated as 8th most powerful passport with visa-free access to 184 countries around the world.
Belgium typically allows dual citizenship.
Belgium citizenship through your Family
- If your mother is a Belgian citizen and you were born in Belgium after 1st January 1967, you are probably also a Belgian citizen.
- If your father is a Belgian citizen and you were born in Belgium, you are probably also a Belgian citizen.
- If your father is a Belgian citizen, and you were born before 1st January 1985 outside of Belgium, you are probably also a Belgium citizen.
- If either parent is a Belgian citizen and you were born outside Belgium after 1st January 1985 you may be a citizen of Belgium. You had to be registered as a citizen before the age of 5 OR your Belgian parent needs to have been born in Belgium or in Belgian Congo before 30th June 1960 or in Rwanda or Burundi before 1st July 1962. If your parents didn’t register you before the age of 5 and you were not given another nationality before the age of 18, then you may still qualify for Belgium citizenship.
Belgium Citizenship through Naturalisation
If you have legally lived in Belgium for between 3 and 5 years, and have strong ties to the country you may be able to apply for Belgium citizenship through naturalisation. This will entitle you to a Belgium passport.
Belgium Residency by Investment
If you invest more than €350,000 in an existing Belgian business or incorporate a new Belgian company, you can apply for a residency visa that will allow you to live and work in Belgium.
After a residency period, you can apply for Belgium citizenship and a Belgium passport.
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