Prior to arrival

How to take care of formalities like visa, work permits and declaration of arrival


There are certain formalities you need to go through before leaving for Belgium.

Depending on your country of nationality, some may not be necessary:

  • You must have a valid passport or ID card issued by your country of nationality (for citizens of some countries, an identity card will suffice). Make sure that your passport is valid for the length of your stay or at least for a reasonable time after your arrival. This will save you any additional inconvenience.
  • You must have a visa if you require one to enter Belgium due to your nationality. You can get one from the Belgian embassy or the consulate responsible for your place of residence.
  • In some cases, employees must also have a work permit in Belgium; self-employed a professional card.

Also on the portal you can find out more about these and other necessary formalities (e.g. the acknowledgment of qualifications and taxes, etc.).

More info on formalities:

Just landed website website
Agentschap Integratie en Inburgering (in Dutch)

Visa requirements

Depending on your nationality and the length of your stay, you may require a visa.

Declaration of arrival

Depending on the length of your stay, you have to complete certain formalities and go to the authorities, taking your visa with you (if you require one). Once you are in Ghent, you have to make a declaration of arrival and should also apply for a residence permit at the local town hall.

Use this e-form for your declaration of arrival.

Work permits

Depending on your nationality, length of stay and your professional status (employee or self-employed) a work permit (for employees) or professional card (if you are self-employed) may be required for carrying out professional activities in Belgium.