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Essential Things To Remember When Moving From The UK To Belgium

So, you’ve decided to move from the UK to Belgium? Congratulations! This is an exciting adventure that will no doubt bring many new and wonderful experiences. Belgium is known for so many things: its amazing food and drink, stunning architecture, beautiful countryside… the list goes on.

Enjoy! As with any big change, however, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind before making a move. Here are our top tips for moving to Belgium successfully.

Research Extensively

This is true for any big move, especially when moving to a new country. Make sure you research everything from the cost of living to the best neighbourhoods to live in. You should also research the visa requirements for your specific situation, which is the immigrant visa. The last thing you want is to get to Belgium and realise you don’t have the proper documentation!

You can always hire a UK immigration lawyer to help you with the research and paperwork involved in moving to Belgium.

Get Your Finances in Order

Before making a move, it’s essential to get your finances in order. This means figuring out how much money you’ll need to live comfortably in Belgium and opening a Belgian bank account. You should also consider getting travel insurance to cover unforeseen medical or financial costs.

Lastly, inform your current bank of your plans to move so they can provide you with the necessary paperwork and advice.

Work On Your Belgian Visa Application

As we mentioned before, you’ll need to apply for a Belgian visa before you can move there. The application process can be long and complicated, so starting it as early as possible is important. You can find more information on the Belgian embassy website. Your UK immigration lawyer can also assist you with this process.

Pack Your Things

This is a good rule of thumb for any move, but it’s especially important when moving to a new country. You don’t want to be bogged down with unnecessary items, so only pack the essentials. This way, you’ll be able to focus on exploring your new home and adapting to your new life.

For example, if you don’t necessarily need all of your winter clothes, consider storing them or giving them away. The same goes for any other items that you won’t need daily.

Work on Your Language Issues

If you’re not already fluent in French or Dutch, now is the time to start learning! These are the two official languages of Belgium, so it’s important to at least be proficient in one of them before moving. Don’t worry if you’re not a language expert, though.

Many Belgians also speak English, so you’ll still be able to get by without speaking the language. However, learning some basics will make your transition to Belgian life much easier.

It’s important to try learning at least some language basics before moving. Not only will this make your transition to Belgian life much easier, but it will also help you better integrate into the community.

Consider Getting Health Insurance

If you’re moving from the UK to Belgium, you’ll need to make sure you have health insurance. This is because the National Health Service (NHS) does not cover residents outside of the UK.

There are a few different options for health insurance in Belgium. You can choose to get private health insurance, which companies such as AXA or Bupa provide. You can also get public health insurance through the Belgian government.

Your best bet is to speak to a UK immigration lawyer about your specific situation and which health insurance option would be best for you. If you already have your personal health insurance policy, check if it covers you abroad.

Find a Place to Live

One of the most important things to do when moving to a new country is finding a place to live. This can be challenging, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. That’s why it’s important to research and figure out exactly where you want to live before moving.

Are you looking for a bustling city centre or a quiet suburb? Do you want to be close to public transportation or have your own parking spot? These are all important factors to consider when choosing a place to live in Belgium.

Once you’ve narrowed your search, you can start looking for apartments or houses to rent. It’s a good idea to use an online rental marketplace such as Immovlan or Kamernet to find listings in your desired area.

Get an International Driving Permit

If you’re planning on driving in Belgium, you’ll need an International Driving Permit (IDP). This is a special permit that allows you to drive in foreign countries. You can apply for an IDP at your local post office.

To get an IDP, you must be 18 or older and have a valid UK driving license. You’ll also need to provide two passport-sized photos and pay a fee of £5.50.

Get a Residence Permit

If you’re planning on staying in Belgium for more than three months, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit. This can be done through the Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country.

To apply for a residence permit, you’ll need to fill out an application form and provide various documents, such as your passport, birth certificate, and proof of employment. You may also be required to pay a fee.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll need to wait for it to be processed. This can take up to two months, so make sure to apply for your residence permit well before your planned move.

Consider the Cultural Differences

Lastly, it’s important to be aware of the cultural differences between the UK and Belgium. One of the most notable differences is that Belgians tend to be more formal than Britons. For example, it’s considered rude to call someone by their first name unless you know them well.

When interacting with locals, it’s always best to avoid caution and be respectful. You’ll soon feel at home in your new country with a little understanding and patience.

Conclusion

Moving to Belgium is an exciting endeavour, but it’s important to be prepared before making the big move. Following these tips can ensure a smooth transition and make the most of your new life in Belgium.

Photo by Olga Subach on Unsplash 

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