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.
- Click here to schedule your appointment
- 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.
- Gather all the necessary paperwork required for your application.
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
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.
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!