Living in Belgium : Guide for new arrivals in Brussels and Wallonia

Settlement programme in Wallonia

New migrant settlement office in Brussels (BAPA)

Under what conditions can you take part in the program?

Can the programme help you find training?

What does the programme involve?

What exactly is the programme?

Why an accompaniment service for newcomers?

What does integration mean?

Specific resources

Internet resources

Participating in social and cultural life

Support services for newly-arrived immigrants

What precautions do I need to take in my personal affairs?

What insurance do I need? What is it for?

What about credit?

What do I do if I have money problems?

Do I need to have a bank account? What is it for?

What can I do to have fun, relax or play sports?

How can I participate in cultural life?

How can I participate in an association?

Who can take care of our baby during the day?

Where can we get medical check-ups for our baby?

Who else do we have to rm after the birth?

What do we have to do when our child is born?

What administrative formalities does the future mother have to complete during her pregnancy?

Who should we see?

We are expecting a child. Is it important to see a doctor?

We do not get along anymore and we no longer want to live together. What do we do?

What will our marriage change?

We are a couple, and we want to get married. What do we do?

We live together, but we do not want to get married. Is this possible?

Where can I find other information?

What do I do if my child is having problems in school?

In Belgium, children must attend school from age six to age 18. They can also attend pre-school starting at two years and six months of age.

What can I do to help my child in school?

Who can take care of my child during non-school hours?

Do I have to pay to sign 
my children up for school?

In Brussels, a French or a Dutch school?

Official school or free school?

How do I choose a school for my child? What is important?

What about enrolment?

Does my seven-year-old daughter have to go to school? My son is 16 years old. 
Does he have to go to school?

Does my three-year-old son have to go to school?

How is school organized in Belgium?

Emergency 
telephone numbers?

What are the important documents for my health?

I am disabled. Where can I 
find assistance for my family and myself?

I have trouble sleeping, 
I’m anxious, I’m depressed. Who should I see?

Where can I obtain help for problems related to reproduction and sexuality?

Are there other places 
where I can be treated?

What if I become ill at night or on the weekend?

When should I go to 
the hospital?

Who should I contact if 
I have a health problem 
or if I don’t feel well?

What are my rights 
as a patient?

How does the reimbursement system work?

What “mutuelle” should I choose? How much will it cost? How do I join?

Do I have to sign up for 
a “mutuelle”? What purpose does it serve?

I live in Belgium. Do I have a right to health care?

Where do I go for advice?

How do I find a flat or house to rent?

What should be done in case of conflict between the landlord and tenant?

What are my obligations 
as a tenant?

What are my rights 
as a tenant?

What important documents concern housing?

What types of housing exist?

How do I increase 
my chances of finding a job?

What is undeclared work?

And unemployment insurance?

Gross salary and net salary: what are they?

Where can I find 
job offers?

I have a work permit, 
and I am looking for a job. Where do I start?

What is a trade union?

What are my rights and duties as an employee?

Employee or freelance?

Do I have the right 
to work?

And what if I don’t agree 
with a decision the government makes?

What important documents am I going to need?

Are administrative formalities really so important?

Do I also have to register 
with the municipality?

Who will decide whether to issue me a residence card or not?

How long is a residence card valid? When do I have 
to renew it?

Jobs and training

Where can we get help if our baby is ill?

All citizens are equal in rights and in dignity

Summary (pdf)

I have just arrived in Belgium. What do I have to do first?

Belgium is a law-based state and a democracy, which guarantees human rights and civil rights for all

Introduction