Work and study in Brussels: great tips to help you settle in the city

Brussels is often considered the heart of Europe. Despite being ranked as one of the most expensive cities in Western Europe, it’s far cheaper to live in Brussels when compared to other major cities like Paris or London.

However, it’s difficult to settle down in the capital city of Belgium without a little assistance. As an expat myself, I have compiled quick, comprehensive information to help people who are looking to study or work in Brussels.

Getting to Brussels

Visa requirements depend on three major factors:

  • Your nationality
  • Purpose of visit
  • Duration of visit

If you are staying for a short while, you can apply for a Schengen visa. This type of visa permits you to move freely around every Schengen country throughout the duration of your stay. Contact the nearest Belgian consulate/embassy for more information on visa requirements.

Arrival in Brussels

Both EU/EEA and non-EU nationals who intend to stay for over three months in Belgium must register with their local town hall (gemeentehuis/ Maison communale) in person. Non-EU citizens must provide their extended stay visa too. If you’re planning to study or work in Brussels under a Schengen visa, it’s crucial to be aware of the 90/180 Day Rule. This regulation dictates that within any 180-day period, you can spend a maximum of 90 days in the Schengen area. It’s a vital aspect to consider for those planning extended stays or frequent travel within the Schengen zone. To calculate your stay and ensure compliance with this rule, you can use the Schengen Visa calculator provided by VisaGuide.World. This tool helps you track your days spent in the Schengen Area and plan your travels accordingly, avoiding any visa overstays or violations.

Also, the state issues an electronic identity/residency card to every individual who is residing in Belgium and over the age of 12. Foreigners residing in Belgium are free to travel around the Schengen area.

Visit and register with your national consulate/embassy for more information on documentations and how to settle down in Belgium.  You will get lots of useful information and you will get to connect to other expats from your home country.

Education and work in Brussels

Most foreign expats and students relocating in Belgium do so with the aim of working at EU organizations and continuing or finishing studies through the Erasmus program. It’s also best to secure admission or employment before you move to Belgium.

young people
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

Expats relocating with their families should brace up for the famous traffic jams in Brussels. Moving your kids from your home to school then getting to your workplace will be an issue if you don’t get accommodation close to both your office and your kids’ school.

Accommodation in Brussels

If you don’t have the time to hire a real estate agent to help you find accommodation, you can do it on your own. One way to do that is via a user-friendly website called Housinganywhere, where you can look for the best apartments in Brussels.

With Housinganywhere you can talk directly to landlords and secure a deal even before your arrival in Belgium. There are real-time pictures and videos of the apartment, and it is possible to make a decision based on current rental rates.

Settling down in Brussels is easier when you have the right information.