Registration (Domiciliation) at your commune, simple steps

Bienvenue! You’ve made it to Brussels, St. Gilles to be exact. And while your sights may be set on decorating your space, making a splash at work, and meeting new friends, your first job is to register with the St. Gilles commune. Here are some simple steps to make the registration process easier so you can spend more time living your best life in Brussels!

Why Do I Need to Register at the Commune?

As you may know, Brussels consists of 19 separate communes, or municipalities. Belgian law requires that most adults – with the exception of some who work for Parliament or NATO – must register with the commune where they reside if planning to stay longer than three months. Registering at the commune means you receive an official Belgian ID card and national number. Having this ID will also help simplify a number of administrative tasks you may encounter while living here – ranging from local healthcare to securing a parking permit.

What Does Domiciliation Mean?

The term domiciliation is the concept of registering yourself legally at the address in which you reside. As outlined above, the process of registering at the St. Gilles commune is the act of domiciliation for the purposes of legally residing in Belgium. You may have encountered the term “non-domiciliation” when looking at certain rentals. This means that you cannot register to live legally at that address

How Do I Register at the Commune?

You have eight days upon arrival in Belgium to register yourself at the St. Gilles commune. And there are varying procedures to keep in mind depending on your status as an EU or non-EU national. You’ll also need to determine whether you are registering as a Belgian resident for the very first time; updating your existing registration in the Belgian population system; or applying for non-EU residence status. 

If you have never registered in Belgium before you must make an in-person appointment. As soon as you know your move-in date, schedule an appointment ASAP since spots fill up quickly.

  1. Click here to schedule your appointment
  2. Select from the pull down menu: 
  • Administration: A.C. St. Gilles 
  • Department: Registration in the Municipality
  • Procedure: This depends on your status within Belgium — select whether you are changing addresses from another commune; an EU national, or a non-EU national.
  1. Gather all the necessary paperwork required for your application. 

Black lamp on desk

I’m Not an EU National. How Does This Impact My Domiciliation?

If you are landing in Belgium for the first time from outside an EU member state, you’ll have to take the preliminary step of applying for a visa prior to requesting residency in St. Gilles. Most likely your employer has already finalized this process, which includes work permits and necessary visas applications. If not, email the St. Gilles commune to be sure you know exactly what to plan for.

 

What Documents Do I Need For My Registration?

The documents required for your Belgian ID card change regularly. Some examples are listed below, but make sure to double check with the commune before your visit.

 

Examples of items you may need:

  • Official residence lease

  • Passport and/or ID from your issuing country

  • 2 photographs which can be taken in a photobooth near you

  • Visa/work permit as necessary

  • Payment

 

I Submitted My Registration. What Happens Next?

After you’ve submitted your registration, you’ll need to sit and wait. Literally. The local police will pay an unannounced visit to your home to confirm it’s really you and that you really live there. They will also check that your name is on the door or near the doorbell. If you’re not at home when the officer stops by, make sure to follow up with the note they’ll leave in your mailbox so your application doesn’t get delayed. This visit usually happens within the week after submitting your registration, so just sit tight!

 

Shortly after the police swing by, you’ll receive a sealed envelope by mail with pin-codes that correspond to your new ID. Bring this envelope to the commune (by appointment or walk in) and voila! You’re officially registered in the system and that Belgian ID is yours. Congratulations!

 

What Happens When I Leave St. Gilles or Belgium Altogether?

Make sure to deregister from the Belgium system when your stay here is over. If not, you could face a number of unintended consequences ranging from unnecessary residency taxes to visa and health insurance issues should you ever return to Belgium in the future.

 

So just like registering when you move to Belgium, you need to deregister when you leave Belgium. To do so, simply visit the commune, turn in your residency card and request a Model 8 form which confirms that you are no longer a resident of Belgium.

Funrished Housing in Brussels

Can You See Yourself at Morton Place? 

We hope that you’ll join our Morton Place community! As a resident in one of our homes it is our mission to help you settle into Brussels, including helping navigate the commune. All the while delivering you the unique benefits of a chic, all-inclusive, coliving environment. Feel free to reach out anytime!

 

 

 

 

Housing Brussels

Tips to Find Your Perfect Apartment in Brussels

 

Thinking about moving to Brussels? You’re not alone—Brussels is the number one expat destination in Europe—and for good reason.

 

With its beautiful architecture, cultural diversity, efficient public transport, and buffet of culinary delights, this charming city offers something for everyone. It may seem overwhelming to start the search, but it’s easy to find your home-sweet-home thanks to tons of websites, chock-full of housing options. With traffic becoming an increasing problem in Brussels, public transportation should be part of your decision making in choosing your housing. Although you may hope for accommodation which is within walking distance to your office, that’s not always possible or preferable. Also think about whether you will need access to the Eurostar (Midi Station) or the Airport.  The STIB is the Brussels’ transport service, and their journey planner is an excellent way to figure out whether the location you are considering will be an easy commute. Start by looking at STIB.BE the portal for the public transport system in Brussels. Figure out the trams, and metros which head to your office and then you can narrow down the neighborhoods which are good for you. (For more tips on choosing neighborhoods check out our top tips here  Best Brussels Neighborhoods for Expats :) 

Art Deco details of brussels houses in chatelain neighborhoods

1. Popular Rental Portals in Brussels 

A quick Google search for “apartment+rental+Brussels” will land you hundreds of hits. How do you narrow it down—and how do you know if that dream room is legit? The more popular rental portal sites, such as immoweb or immo.vlan tend to specialise in unfurnished, long-term housing. This can be risky business if you are booking online, or with a private landlord, scams are not uncommon. We have heard horror stories of deposits paid for flats that didn’t exist.  If you want to start with a furnished place, sites like spotahome can be useful. These portals tend to showcase a broad range of available options, with huge variations in quality. 

 

Life in a new city can be daunting. With work taking up a lot of your time and energy, it’s difficult to find time and opportunities to make new friends. Shared housing can be a good opportunity to share costs and start making your new social network.

Happy young woman at party Brussels

2. Try Coliving!

Brussels is the epicenter of the coliving movement in Europe. With such an influx of international professionals coming to work for the EU and related institutions there is consistent demand for flexible, all inclusive, furnished housing.  At Morton Place, we focus on  fostering  communities of like minded residents with a variety nationalities  with whom you can share your first steps in this new city. Coliving homes  offer built-in community, camaraderie and exciting networking opportunities, especially as a new arrival in Belgium. Other shared housing options can be found on roommate sites such as s appartager, or housinganywhere . The providers might require a subscription, limiting you to a certain number of searches per week, or, in other cases, unlimited access until you find your dream space. 

3. Find it on Facebook

 

There are several local Facebook groups that offer apartment hunting and shared housing resources. You can sign up with popular groups such as bxl a louer, bxl a louer studio-apart, as well as BRUXELLES: location and brussels flats and rooms to rent to start looking, and post while you’re on the hunt. While these sites are an excellent resource and helpful for making connections, it can be difficult to find the most up to date housing options. 


Rental in Brussels

 

4. Leverage Your Net-Work

If you’re moving for work, your HR department likely has lots of information about settling down in Brussels. Ask if your organization works with a relocation agent who might be able to pass along the inside scoop on any rooms or apartments on their radar. Maybe other colleagues are interested in coliving and you can go on the hunt together. If you work with the Commission or another EU organization, get connected to their welcome office intranet which lists hundreds of rentals around Brussels. 

 

5. Trust Your Gut to Avoid a Scam

 

Although most providers are legitimate, beware of bad actors. If the posting is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t transfer money until you’ve visited the space in person or via video tour. Ask your potential landlord for references if possible. Make sure you check dates, hidden fees and rental agreements so you know all the fine print before you commit.

Funrished Housing in Brussels

Enjoy Brussels –

We hope we get a chance to introduce you to the vibrant coliving communities of Morton Place – contact us for a video or in person tour.