Residency by investment in Belgium is not awarded according to a minimum investment value or a very specific programme with conditions for company innovation or real estate investments, as may be the case in other European states. Instead, foreign entrepreneurs have the option of making an investment such as opening a company and creating jobs, with a value that can vary and can have an approximate maximum value of 500,000 euros.
The Belgian programme for acquiring residence following investment is also influenced by the area in which the foreign national will choose to establish the business or make the investment itself. This is because the country is divided into three regions (Brussels-Capital, Wallonia and Flanders) that may impose their own conditions and will evaluate the investment proposal.
Working with our Belgium immigration lawyer is relevant in the context of residency by investment, perhaps even more so than in other situations, such as when seeking employment. Understanding the conditions for foreign investment and company formation (when applicable) is relevant in this case and, together with these, the foreign entrepreneur must also comply with the visa and the Belgium residence permit application requirements.
For those interested in moving to Belgium permanently, an investment such as opening a accompany or starting a self-employed business that offers essential services, can be a gateway towards acquiring Belgian citizenship after the minimum residency time has elapsed.
In this article, our team summarizes the main issues to take into consideration when interested in residency by investment in Belgium. For more details, or information on a particular business or investment project and its value, please reach out to our Belgium immigration specialists.
What are the ways to acquire residency by investment in Belgium?
As previously mentioned, a unified residency by investment programme is not formally in place in Belgium. However, foreign investors enjoy the same rights as local ones and are allowed to open a company or make a significant investment in an existing Belgian business, thus proving their investment ties with the country and being eligible for a type D visa, the one that allows foreign nationals to reside in the country for long-term purposes.
Some of the ways in which investors can acquire residency by investment in Belgium are the following:
- Open a company: registering a new company in Belgium is a preferred manner of acquiring residency through investment; there are several business forms available and investors can choose one that will suit their needs.
- Invest in a Belgian company: an alternative to opening a new business is to acquire shares in an existing Belgian company, thus establishing a commercial link.
- Self-employment: an investor starting his own business can choose to do so in the form of a sole trader, the simplest business type; he can then provide services such as business consulting or others.
- Others: investments can also be made in real estate in Belgium, thus establishing the investment ties and proving that the purchased real estate will be further developed, for example, used for renting.
Please keep in mind that these are only examples of the ways in which a foreign national may choose to invest in the country and then apply for a Belgium residence permit based on this business link. Our Belgium immigration lawyer can provide you with more details if you are considering applying for residency by investment in the country.
What are the main conditions for foreign investors in Belgium?
In some cases, the value of the investment can be essential for acquiring residency by investment in Belgium. This is especially important when opening a new business, as there will be numerous costs associated with establishing the legal entity. Below, our Belgium immigration agents list a number of possible investment values:
- 18,550 euros: the minimum share capital for the private limited liability company; please keep in mind that this is to be abolished once the new Companies Code enters into force; we recommend reaching out to out Belgium immigration lawyers for more information;
- 61,500 euros: the minimum capital for the public limited company, a business form suited to larger companies;
- 62,000 euros: the approximate value of the annual salary for a managerial position.
Please keep in mind that these costs are only approximate ones and that a substantial investment for residency by investment in Belgium could amount to higher amounts.
How can our Belgium immigration lawyers assist you?
Professional legal aid is often recommended when opening a new business and this is also true for Belgium. The company formation stages, as well as the minimum capital requirements, remain the same throughout the three regions, however, depending on where they choose to base the company, investors will find that the formalities will be handled in either French, Dutch, or German (the three official languages). Our team of Belgium immigration lawyers can help assist you during the necessary submissions with the authorities as well as after the company is incorporated or when you need to renew the residence permit. Foreign investors who have chosen to reside in the country for a minimum number of years to run their business can apply for Belgian citizenship.
Please contact us for more information on how to apply for residency by investment in Belgium. Our team can help you apply for the right type of residence permit and then assist you in following through with the investment application.