Belgium is known for fries, chocolate and beer, beautiful cities and being 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 and Belgians love taking their time for a good meal. They also speak their own language. Because 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. 

An Ex-pat in Brussels

Mike Chambers is a British ex-pat living and working in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. He has written extensively on the life of an ex-pat and has been published on a number of different media and social sites on the internet. He is a writer, a commentator and blogger and has a wide range of experiences from living as an ex-pat in Belgium.
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Belgium Residency

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.

Here are some of the ways to live in Belgium if you are a citizen of a non-EEA country:

Work or business related 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. 

Through 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.

Through your Family

  • If your spouse is a 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 citizenship section below for more information on residency or citizenship based on descent.

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

GDP Per Capita
$43,413  (Rank: 24)
Disposable Income
$2,565  (Rank: 33)
Life Expectancy
81.10  (Rank: 21)
Education Index
81.00%  (Rank: 24)
Corruption Index
77%  (Rank: 15)
Murders Per Year
180  (Rank: 90)
Crime Index
44.51  (Rank: 62)
Environmental Protection
66.61%  (Rank: 36)
Gender Equality
74.50%  (Rank: 24)
Annual Tourists
7,887,000  (Rank: 38)


Federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy


Dutch, French, German



Population Density

378 per square km

Belgium Citizenship

Here are some of the ways to get citizenship in Belgium:

  • 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.

Quality of Life

Rank: 15

Cost of Living

Rank: 20


Rank: 62

Average Temp.


Rank: 151

Resources & Links

The passport for Belgium allows you to travel to 160 countries without a visa.

Its global rank is 11.

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