Are you interested in moving to Belgium from Canada? Your relocation process starts with applying for the right type of visa with the Consulate General in Montreal. Belgium is a country that is home to many important European Union institutions as well as a large number of international companies and organizations. Canadians can find various employment or business opportunities in the country and the relocation can be a smooth process for them because French is one of the three official languages in the country.
Having the right help from a Belgium immigration lawyer can be important during and even after the relocation process. While the general accommodation period may be swift for some Canadians who already speak French, it is important to note the cultural differences between Europe and Canada. If you wish to immigrate to Belgium from Canada, you should know that Belgium is a highly multicultural country, however, you should be mindful of the differences that exist in the three distinct areas in the country as well as the socio-political differences between these regions.
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Types of visas for moving to Belgium from Canada
Broadly speaking, the types of visas that are available to foreign nationals willing to travel to Belgium can be long or short-term. Canadians who wish to stay in the country for more than 90 days will need to apply for this visa and it is useful to note that the long-term visa (the D or C type) is not the same as the Schengen visa.
The visas one can apply for when moving to Belgium from Canada are the following:
- Work visa: for individuals who have signed an employment agreement; the employer can request a work permit in most cases and a pre-authorization allowing the Canadian employee to stay in the country;
- Self-employed: the professional card is required in case of those who will engage in a self-employed activity in Belgium;
- Study: this is a student visa and it is mandatory for the applicant to have been admitted to an academic institution in Belgium;
- Research: the scientific visa, for when a Canadian interested in moving to Belgium has an agreement with a recognized research institution in the country;
- Family reunification: this visa is available to Canadians who wish to be reunited with their family members who are already living in Belgium.
We remind you that the work visa is to be applied for only when the single permit is granted. Applicants should note that the single permit is required in this case and that this document is used as an attestation that the individual is allowed to stay more than 90 days in Belgium for work purposes. The residence permit that is issued in this case will also include a statement regarding the holder’s access to the labor market. Our Belgium immigration lawyers can provide you with more details.
General information about visas
Foreign nationals who wish to immigrate to Belgium from Canada need to follow a number of key steps and we recommend starting the process as soon as possible as the processing time may differ according to the purpose of the long-term stay. Preparing the application and gathering all of the needed documents may take more time than initially planned especially since some of the documents need to be issued separately by the Canadian authorities. This is why we suggest reaching out to our agents in order to determine the exact steps according to your particular case.
Below, our Belgium immigration agents list the most important issues to take into consideration after you have decided to apply for a long-term visa and immigrate to Belgium from Canada:
- Prepare the documents: there are several documents that are required in all cases, however, the type of long-term visa will also require mandatory, special document such as the employment contract;
- Get a police record: this certificate needs to be issued by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the Provincial Police;
- Medical certificate: this is issued by a doctor who is accredited by the Consulate or the family doctor;
- Pay the fees: there are two distinct types of fees, the consular and the administrative ones.
Remaining in the country indefinitely also means applying for permanent residence in Belgium, according to the purpose of the stay.
Canadians who wish to acquire Belgian citizenship can do so based on the number of years they have spent in the country. In most cases, the minimum number of uninterrupted years before applying is five years, however, the period can be shorter (only three years) if the Canadian is married to a Belgian national, is the parent of a Belgian minor child, or the adopter of such a child.
Below we summarize information on the administrative fee payable when moving to Belgium from Canada:
- 62 €: when the applicant applies as the family member of another foreigner who can reside in Belgium for more than three months (and in other cases);
- 204 €: when the applicant is applying for residence as the spouse of a foreign national who holds a residence card for an unlimited period (and in other cases);
- 358 €: when the applicant will reside more than 3 months in the country and will engage in professional activities, with study in a private educational institution or will carry out research (as well as in other cases).
The administrative fee is paid into the bank account of the Office des Etrangers.
Foreign entrepreneurs from Canada who are ready to open a company or make another types of investment can reach out to us for details about Belgium residency by investment.
If you would like to know more about the immigration process, please contact our Belgium immigration lawyer for more information on how to immigrate to Belgium from Canada.
Canadian citizens can receive a personalized guide on how to apply for a Belgian residence permit from our team. When examining the steps required in your case, we will take into account the length of your stay and the purpose of your relocation (employment, investment, or others), as well as your relationship status (married, with or without children). We also assist foreign nationals of other nationalities.