On January 31st 2020 Great Britain left the European Union after the settlement of the Withdrawal Agreement. At the moment we are in the transition period, which ends on December 31st 2020. Until that day British citizens are still granted the right to freedom of movement within the EU and, thus, continue to be able to travel, settle and live in EU countries. Nevertheless, since the end of the transition period is drawing closer, it’s crucial you act now to ensure you can legally stay in the EU.
British citizens in Belgium: what steps do you need to take?
We know this time can be stressful for British citizens living in Belgium. With this article, we aim to give you an overview of the situation in Belgium and provide you with a precise list of steps to tick off on your To-Do list. In this way you get all the administrative tasks done quickly and effectively. With the bureaucratic hassle out of the way you can fully enjoy the Christmas period and look forward to a - hopefully much better - year of 2021 in Belgium.
The first steps: what do you need to do right now?
Registration as a resident:
Register as a Belgian resident before December 31st 2020 to maintain the right to stay. Within 8 days of arriving in Belgium you must register at your local town hall (commune/gemeente). Bring 4 passport photos, your passport and copies thereof, the lease of your apartment/house, evidence that you can financially support yourself in Belgium, and proof of health insurance. Your address will be verified with a police home visit. After that you can apply for an electronic residence card for a cost of €20, which will be valid for 5 years. All UK nationals living in Belgium must apply for a second residency card. The application for this will be explained in a letter from your commune/gemeente which should arrive before December 31st 2020.
Life in Belgium post-Brexit
The following sections will summarise the regulations and laws governing life as a British citizen in Belgium after December 31st 2020.
You maintain your right to work in Belgium, as long as you are registered as a resident in Belgium before December 31st 2020.
Depending on your employer, you may need a UK police certificate and/or Belgian criminal records certificate (‘extrait de casier judiciaire’/’uittreksel uit het strafregister’), that can be requested at your local commune / gemeente.
Since Great Britain has a double taxation agreement with Belgium you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. The existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Belgium have not changed.
Banking arrangements should stay the same after the end of the transition period on December 31st 2020. If your finance provider needs to make any alterations to one of your products, they will contact you directly.
Until the end of the transition period on December 31st 2020, the legislation on driving license exchange will remain the same. As a resident in Belgium you are advised to exchange your UK driving license for a Belgian one. When driving in Belgium please make sure to always carry the following items with you: driving license, car registration, insurance, your MOT or control technique certificate and ID of all people in the vehicle.
Do you still have doubts about what you must do to legally stay in Belgium or other EU-member states post-Brexit?
We have created a comprehensive guide on how British citizens can remain compliant with the new regulations in Belgium and other EU-member states. In case you still have further questions that are not answered in this article nor by the guide, please send us a message or schedule a free consultation - we will be happy to help you!
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