Moving & Removals

Belgium, a country known for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture, is a popular destination for those moving from the UK. Whether you’re drawn to the bustling cities or the charming countryside, Belgium offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern conveniences. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know to ensure a smooth move to Belgium.

Visa and Residency Requirements

Before you move to Belgium, you need to understand the visa and residency requirements. As a UK citizen, you will need a visa if you plan to stay longer than 90 days. 

Long-Stay Visa (Type D):

This visa is for stays longer than 90 days and is required for those who intend to work, study, or live in Belgium long-term. There are several categories under the Type D visa:

Work Visa: For those who have secured employment in Belgium. You will need a work permit, which your employer can assist you with.
Student Visa: For those enrolled in a Belgian educational institution.
Family Reunification Visa: For family members of legal residents in Belgium.
Self-Employment Visa: For those planning to start a business or work as freelancers in Belgium.

Work Permits

Belgium has three types of work permits:

Work Permit A: This permit is valid indefinitely and allows the holder to work for any employer in Belgium. It is typically issued to individuals who have worked in Belgium on Work Permit B for a total of four years within a 10-year uninterrupted stay.

Work Permit B: This permit is employer-specific and valid for one year, but it can be renewed. It is usually obtained by the employer on behalf of the employee. Most foreign workers start with this permit.

Work Permit C: This permit is issued for a limited period and allows the holder to work for any employer. It is often granted to students, asylum seekers, and other categories of temporary residents.

Once you arrive in Belgium, you will also need to register at your local town hall and obtain a residence permit. This registration process is essential for accessing various public services in Belgium.

Logistics for Moving to Belgium from the UK

Selecting the right removals company is essential for a successful move to Belgium. Look for a reputable firm with experience in international relocations to Belgium. Consider factors such as reliability, affordability, and customer feedback when making your decision. Additionally, familiarise yourself with Belgium’s customs procedures and import regulations to ensure your belongings are transported smoothly.

When choosing a removals company, it’s also beneficial to check if they offer comprehensive services such as packing, storage, and insurance. Some companies provide door-to-door service, which can simplify the moving process significantly.

Cost of Living in Belgium

Finding a place to live in Belgium can be a challenge, especially in popular cities like Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent. The housing market varies by region, with city centres generally being more expensive than suburban or rural areas. Average rental prices can be high, especially in major cities. When choosing accommodation, consider factors like location, proximity to amenities, and transportation links.

Healthcare System

Belgium has a high-quality healthcare system that includes both public and private services. As an expatriate, you will need to register with a health insurance fund (mutuelle/mutualiteit) to access healthcare services. Both public and private health insurance are available, and it is mandatory to have health insurance if you are a resident. Belgium’s healthcare system is known for its accessibility and quality of care.

Education System

If you have children, understanding the Belgian education system is crucial. The system includes primary, secondary, and higher education. Belgium offers public, private, and international schools. The language of instruction can vary, with schools teaching in Dutch, French, or German, depending on the region. International schools offer curricula in English. It’s important to research schools in your area and understand the different educational approaches and curricula.

Banking and Finances

Opening a bank account in Belgium is a straightforward process for expatriates. There are many banks to choose from, each offering a range of services. When opening an account, you will need proof of identity, proof of address, and your residence permit. Familiarize yourself with the local banking services, online banking options, and the currency exchange rates. Understanding the tax system in Belgium is also important, as it may differ from the UK system.

Cultural Adaptation

Adapting to Belgian culture and customs is essential for integrating into your new community. Belgians value politeness and punctuality. Learning basic Dutch or French phrases will help you communicate better and show respect for the local culture. Embrace Belgian traditions, festivals, and local cuisine. Participating in local events and activities will help you make connections and feel more at home.

Transportation and Infrastructure

Belgium has an excellent transportation network. Trains, trams, and buses connect cities and towns efficiently. Many cities are bicycle-friendly, with dedicated cycling paths. If you plan to drive, be aware of Belgium’s driving regulations and ensure your UK licence is valid. Public transport is reliable and often the best way to travel within and between cities.

Employment Opportunities in Belgium

Belgium has a diverse job market with opportunities in various industries. Popular sectors include finance, technology, and international organisations. To work in Belgium, you may need a work permit, depending on your job and duration of stay. Networking is crucial in Belgium, so attending industry events and joining professional groups can be beneficial. Online job portals and recruitment agencies can also help in your job search.

Leisure and Recreation

Exploring Belgium’s attractions and landmarks is a must. Visit Brussels’ Grand Place, the canals of Bruges, and the Ardennes forest. Belgium is famous for its chocolate, beer, and waffles, so indulge in the local cuisine. Outdoor activities like hiking and cycling are popular. Belgium’s central location in Europe makes it easy to travel to neighbouring countries, providing endless opportunities for exploration.


Moving to Belgium from the UK is an exciting opportunity. By understanding the visa requirements, housing market, healthcare system, education options, finances, and cultural norms, you’ll be well-prepared for your new adventure. Embrace the chance to explore Belgium’s rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes. With proper planning and an open mind, your move to Belgium can be a rewarding and enriching experience.