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Brit moving to Brussels registration


Hi, I am a Brit moving to Brussels with my work. I have my visa and am preparing to move in October. However I am unsure about registering at the commune when I arrive.

I have been told I need to register within 8 days. But I have also been told that I can only do this from either a permanent address (i.e. a rented apartment), a temporary accommodation such as those found on Spotahome etc, or a hotel.

It is difficult to move straight into a permanent address from the UK. The temporary accommodation available on Spotahome etc is bad quality and expensive, and I can't live in a hotel for 2 months while I wait for the police to check I have arrived.

My preference therefore is to move into an Airbnb for a month when I first arrive, and then move from there to a permanent address. However, I have been told that it's not possible to register with the commune at an Airbnb.

I have been told by several people with experience of moving to Brussels that lots of people simply do not do the 8-day registration process, and instead wait until they're in a permanent address. I obviously want to adhere to the rules, but if I can stay in an Airbnb at first and there are no real consequences for missing the 8-day registration, I would much prefer to do this.

Can anyone confirm that lots of people do not do the 8-day registration thing? Does anyone have any experience with this? What could the consequences be?

Many thanks in advance.


Until you register, the process of issuing you with an ID card cannot start and, even when it has started, that process isn't fast. You will quickly find that without a Belgian ID card you are a non-person, even accessing health care will prove difficult.

Aug 14, 2023 10:38

Arrive, checkin to wherever you're staying, and then go and tell the commune you've arrived. The fact that you're in temporary accommodation isn't important. You'l have started the process. Obviously a few days (weeks?) later on when you have found your place to live perlmenantly, you just update the commune with the new details.

Alternatively, you just forget to tell the commune until you have found your appartment, and then you tel them. You have a job, and a visa, you'll be fine.

However, as BECASSE notes, it could be a little problematic for you in the early days here without an ID (residence permit), as you need one for most things. But there are also workarounds for most things as well.

Aug 15, 2023 11:36