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Non EU citizen - Searching for a job in Belgium

Question

Hello Everybody,

My name is Ardit. I am from Albania and currently i am working in Albania as a Product Manager in a large distribution company which is trading stationaries (Infosoft Office Albania). My girlfriend (fiance, but not officially) got a work permit in Brussels from an NGO and we decided to start a new life in Brussels. Now she is obtaining the Visa from the embassy. We are searching for a apartment/flat and meantime we are preparing to move in Brussels. Does anybody knows to tell me how to act in this situation because i will move in Brussels without a Work permit and i am hoping i will find a work so that i can obtain a work permit. But i need more information about this.

Please if anyone has any suggest, i will be very grateful to you guys. Even some suggestions about how to get involved in social life in Belgium. Thank you in advance,

Best Regards,

Edi

Dear Ardit,
Welcome in Belgium. I moved here too since 2015.
Here I will give you some suggestions:
1.Do not upset with Belgian's tremendous bureaucracy. I mean in everything, finding your first apartment, opening your first bank account and getting residence papers. It just requires patience and everything goes perfect.
2. I suggest to find some sort of temporary accommodation for at least 1 month as it will take you some time to find an suitable apparent to rent as rents here are in high demand. Prepare to pay no less that 800euro/month for a decent apartment for a couple.
3. If you have decent car in Albania in your name bring it with you as it will help you a lot with your moving and until you get used with public transport here. You can keep your car here up to 6 month after you register here. (Thats what I did)After you either sent the car back or you switch to Belgian plates
4. It will be difficult for you to find a job as you are required to have a work permit and most employers ask for good level of French and Dutch language.
5. To have a good social life it will take time here as there are some barriers to break such language barrier, culture, etc. But if you follow language courses here, or follow any sports, etc you will be able to make many friends from all over the world.
6.Traveling here if you have a car is a piece of cake. You can go for a daily trip to Amsterdam, Paris or Cologne or Luxembourg,
If you need any particular help let me know.
Good luck

Jan 4, 2018 17:05
Ceka11

Dear EDI,

First of all, let me thank you for your warm welcome and also for your valuable advices.

Saying the truth, i am not expecting an easy set up in Belgium. I am applying online jobs but till now i didn't have any result. Do you think it will be better if i contact the companies face to face when i will be there?

And another question is : Is there any kind of action from my side to Belgium institution (any kind of registration to social institution maybe they will help me to find something) or you think its not the right action in my situation? (as i dont have a work permit).

What about my fiance? If we get married in Belgium (she has work permit), do i get any benefit regarding my stay in Belgium? I mean, is there any kind of way in order to set up officially even myself in Belgium? I have so many questions because you know when you move to another country, never visited before. Sorry to disturb you with so many questions.

Looking forward your kind reply.

Best Regards,

Jan 5, 2018 08:27
jbmac

About social institutions that will help you to find something...My man, this is Belgium. They will do anything not to do anything. In other words, getting help is not so easy because the people working usually will do the least they have to to do help you.

There are places that are supposed to provide help services with your CV for example. They can fix grammatical errors, and such. When I was taking dutch lessons, the dutch teacher said that if anybody wanted to have their CV's checked, she could check them for grammar errors and such. A few people brought them and all of them had errors in them; but what was shocking was that these CV's had been supposedly checked by these job agencies; but even worse; it was not one person, but people that came from different cities; one lady had her CV done in Antwerp and even there, they didn't really fix it.

Point being, don't expect that somebody will be here ready to help you, specially if you dont'speak any of the official languages.

With that said, if you have skills that are in high demand, usually tech jobs, then maybe things will be easier.

Jan 5, 2018 09:00
Ceka11

Dear JBMAC,

Thank you very much for your detailed explanation. I understand. I was expecting an answer like this. But you are right. I will try to get some courses in French and Dutch. Actually i can speak English and Italian (very well) but i think it is a must knowing French and Dutch. What do you suggest, to start firts French course or a Dutch one?

Thanks in advance.

Kind Regards.

Jan 5, 2018 09:14
J

If you're going to get married anyway, do it. Then you can work as a "trailing spouse".

Looks like you've got something to do with IT. Focus on that and a job should come up eventually. This is your key to finding work far more than languages. Maybe working for a large Brussels based multinational supporting or selling things to Albania/Balkans. Maybe freelancing. Maybe setting up a business.

Jan 5, 2018 09:50
Ceka11

Dear J,

Thank you very much for your suggestion. I find it really helpful.

I didn't get that phrase "work as a trailing spouse". When i said "if i get married" i was referring to any possibility to get any benefit regarding any work permit . Anyway, i will try to follow your advices. Can you please be more specific for example : do you know any multinational IT company when i can search for a job? It will be very helpful to me.

Thank you in advance,

My Best Regards.

Jan 5, 2018 10:07
Edi

Ardit, do not expect to find a job as soon as you arrive. I takes time. Job market here is very competitive as there are also many people coming from other countries and looking for jobs. Best way is through any connections/recommendation but also through online applications you may have a chance.
If you find something within 6 first months consider yourself lucky. I don't think you have to worry a lot at the moment as your girlfriend will be working meanwhile you can take language courses. Here language courses are very very cheap. I pay 120Euro/Year for my French classes and for Dutch is free you pay only 30Euro for books. But you have to be living here. I am also Albanian. Could you give me some sort of contact I can help you with any questions you might have. I have been here since 3 years. :)

Jan 5, 2018 11:16
Ceka11

Dear EDI,

Thank you very much for your support. In fact, i was thinking about requesting you any contact so that you can share your experience with me and maybe you can help me to set up my new life there. But i thought i dont want to disturb you.

Anyway, you can write me on my mail : ardit.ceka11@yahoo.com or you can also contact me on my phone number : 00355692296257. Write me on whatsapp even in Albanian :).

Thank you again for your support.

Best Regards,

Jan 5, 2018 11:25
J

> any company when i can search for a job

Hmm. Try the usual job sites instead.
www.monster.be
www.stepstone.be
www.references.be

Jan 5, 2018 13:57
CC_R

Hello I would highly recommend getting some kind of recognised language qualification as soon as you can. Some communes do runs courses but many will have already started. Although there are many multinational companies based here and some that work in English they would need to see that you have something to add in order to even look at your CV if you’re not allowed to work via your visa upon arrival. Possibly consider doing something voluntary work to make connections and good luck

Jan 5, 2018 14:05

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