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Special tax regime for expat & permanent residence


Hi everyone,

has anyone obtained recently unlimited residence permit while he is following special tax regime (tax regime for expat)?

I am asking the question to check if the years of residence in Belgium under special tax regime will not be taken into account for calculation of the 5 years of residence before requesting the unlimited residence permit.

Thank you in advance.


Try asking the Expat Welcome Desk at Brussels Commissioner for Europe. See their website: There is a section on residence formalities.

AMELIE BOVY is the Legal Adviser for the Welcome Desk
02 430 66 13

Apr 20, 2020 10:04

You need to ask your commune. It will depend on numerous factors including your nationality which you don’t mention.
I am an EU citizen and was under the expat tax scheme for many years. It did not affect my years of residence when applying for nationality.

Apr 20, 2020 23:38

I'd agree with @WEZEMBEEKWANDERER. Your tax status and your residency status are two completely different things. Obviously they are linked, but one does not necessarily impact the other.

There are "residents" who pay no tax, as well as "non-residents" who do pay tax and a whole raft of variations inbetween.

However, as with anything this important, it makes sense for you to take proper advice rather than rely on annonymous replies on the internet.

Apr 21, 2020 11:03

As Anon says get professional advice.
I would add that under the expat tax scheme I was paying Belgian tax from the beginning. I was signed up with a Mutuelle here from the beginning but I paid UK social security for 5 years and my pension was paid in U.K. for first 5 years. After that I was paying Belgian social and into Belgian pension.

Applying for Belgian nationality normally requires paying Belgian social security for 5 years or Belgian residency for 10 years. For permanent residency, I would guess that your expat years will count. If you are British, with Brexit not much is certain.
Take advice, we do not create the laws here!

Apr 22, 2020 00:18