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Best northern communes for paperwork and communal administration?


I am currently living in Molenbeek and I have had it with the Commune. Their opening hours are impossible for anybody who has a job, and I have now been waiting for my Titre de Séjour for 5 months! I'm looking into moving to another commune in the north. I work in Antwerp but because of my partner I need to stay put in Brussels for at least a couple more years. And I like Brussels very much. Access to the A12 is vital. I would like to ask for other expats' experiences with the communal services in Jette, Ganshoren, and especially Laeken. I hear the slowest commune is Brussels city, but I think Laeken has a separate communal office? BTW I come from a non-EU country, that can be useful information. Thanks in advance!!!


Laeken is Ville de Bruxelles, it's not a separate commune and Ville de Bruxelles has the very worst reputation.

Does it have to be A12 as the E19 also goes to Antwerpen and the train is the best method of transport between Brussels and Antwerpen. WSL/WSP/Kraainem/Wezembeek-Oppem/Evere and in some of this area, you have excellent access to the train line to Antwerpen too.

Feb 15, 2019 21:18

You know if your partner is EU and you read applying as EU family member, standard waiting time is 5 months everywhere.

Feb 16, 2019 08:44

Thanks for the replies! I do prefer the A12 since my office is literally on it. However, the E19 still gives me good access. My partner is indeed EU but we're not married nor thinking about it :)

Feb 16, 2019 17:01

I made no mention of marriage.
Have you applied for EU family member or have you applied for residency on your own grounds? If the latter, the standard processing time is minimum 5 months.
Perhaps try going by public transport to work, it will be at least 70% paid by your employer, then look at where you can live with access to the train stations.

Feb 16, 2019 19:30

You know that you are legally allowed time off for "formalitées administratives"? That means you can take time off work to go to the commune, and therefore opening hours are no longer a problem.

Feb 17, 2019 16:44

@SHORTOF Oh, I understand what you mean now, so at least I know that I'm within the average waiting time. That sucks, but I guess it is what it is. I did apply on my own grounds. Public transport would be nice, but my commute time would more than triple (I'm not exaggerating). At least my employer does pay for my gas.
@J Thanks, that will be useful for when I have to go give my photos/pay.

Feb 18, 2019 11:00

I've lived in Jette for a number of years and am very pleased with the services at the commune. First, there is seldom a long wait. The premises are modern and clean. Staff are friendly and efficient. It was a pleasant surprise after living in a couple of other communes. When colleagues moan about how awful it is dealing with "the commune", I just think "not everywhere".

Feb 19, 2019 19:20
Passive energy

I went to the Schaerbeek townhall this morning to register for the population register (after having had a special ID card for years) and I was pleasantly surprised. They now have a separate counter for EU citizens and practice a numbering system which gives you fast access to the counter. I was in and out in about 20 minutes. It might take longer if you are non-EU citizen, though. When I left shortly before noon, the number of tickets they give out to those was already depleted.

Then again, I was also told it would probably take five months I hear from them. When I don't, it means they have approved my request and I can come again bringing a photo and 20 Euro to get an ID card.

This has really much improved over the last 20 years.

BTW, in Schaerbeek you have easy access to A12 from Boulevard Lambermont, Pont van Praet and Neder-over-Hembeek.

Feb 21, 2019 15:10

@BXLER and @PASSIVE ENERGY thank you very much! Very useful info!

Feb 22, 2019 08:55