BELGIUM

Name of country

  • BELGIUM

Region

  • Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands

Population

  • 11,778,842 (July 2021 est.)

General Introduction

  • Belgium is a prosperous country with world-class living standards and serves as Europe's gateway. Belgium is a full-time member of the European Union and the Schengen Zone, with its headquarters in Brussels. Belgium is a very business-friendly country with a strategic location that is good for commerce and exports. In comparison to surrounding EU countries, the country has reasonable real estate costs and is a top investment destination. Belgium's currency is the euro, and French is commonly spoken. The diamond cutting industry is well-known in Antwerp. Every year, millions of people visit Brugges and Ghent.

Wifi Speed

  • Belgium has a well-developed Internet infrastructure, ranking among the top countries in the world in terms of a total number of Internet users, fixed broadband users, mobile broadband users, and Internet hosts. Providers typically offer download speeds of 30Mbit/s to 1Gbit/s, and upload speeds of 10Mbit/s to 75Mbit/s.

Electrical outlet

  • For Belgium, there are two associated plug types, types C and E. Plug type C is the plug that has two round pins and plug type E is the plug that has two round pins and a hole for the socket male earthing pin. Belgium operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

 Per Capita GDP 

Real GDP per capita

  • $51,934 (2019 est.)
  • $51,299 (2018 est.)
  • $50,615 (2017 est.)

Climate

  • temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

Residence-by-Investment

  • Belgium has a migration policy in place for non-EU investors and entrepreneurs who want to relocate to Belgium and do business there. They must apply for a residence visa in the category of investor or business. In the application, they can also include their spouse and children. On a case-by-case basis, the government analyzes applications and makes decisions. It takes from 3 to 8 months to get it. The method is generally simple and straightforward.

Investment

  • Unlike many other European countries, Belgium has a golden visa program, often known as a "investment visa," where applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. In comparison, European countries have well-defined standards for investor visa programs based on real estate investment.
  • Applicants must form a Belgian corporation to apply. After five years, successful applicants can apply for permanent residency and citizenship. The average investment over a five-year period is €350,000–€500,000.
  • Investors who want to become citizens of Belgium through investing must pass a language test in either Dutch, German, or French.

Processing Time

  • It takes 3-4 months to get the residence permit issued to investors who form their company.

Key Benefits

  • Modern, open, and highly developed economy
  • Developed transport infrastructure
  • Tax incentives for businesses
  • A highly skilled, multilingual and productive workforce
  • High living standards
  • High level of education and healthcare
  • Low crime rates
  • Easy transport connections to the whole world
  • No minimum stay requirement
  • Residence permits for the whole family
  • Dual citizenship

Requirements

The main applicant must be at least 18 years old. Other requirements include:

  • Clean criminal record and no breaches of immigration law.
  • Good character.
  • Relevant business experience.
  • Availability of funds for investment.
  • A personal visit is required.

In 3 years of continuous and legal residence in Belgium after obtaining a temporary residence permit, an individual may apply for Belgian permanent residence.

Procedures and Time Frame

When seeking residence as a person of sufficient private means, EU citizens must apply to the local municipal authority in Belgium for a registration certificate within three months of entering Belgium.

  1. Non-EU citizens are required to apply to a Belgian embassy or consulate in their country of origin for a temporary residence permit.
  2. The applicant must submit the following documents:
    • Proof of being an EU citizen.
    • Valid proof of identity
    • Copy of the passport
    • Evidence of sufficient financial resources including personal assets and means of subsistence obtained from third parties for the sustenance of the applicant and his/her family.
    • Proof of accommodation in Belgium
    • Proof of adequate sickness insurance.
    • Proof of family relationship, marriage, or partnership with spouse or partner.
    • Proof that descendants like children under the age of 21 years and ascendants like parents are dependent on the applicant.
  3. Non-EU citizens must submit the following additional documents
    • Certificate of good conduct or other character document recognized by Belgian authorities. The document must not be older than 6 months from the date of filing of the application.
    • Medical certificate issued by a doctor recognized by the Belgian Embassy or Consulate;
  4. Non-EU citizen applicants must file register with the Population or Aliens Department of the Municipality of residence within 3 working days of arrival in Belgium.
  5. The applicant must submit all the required documents within three months of submission of the application for the residence permit.
  6. If all documents are submitted and are in order, then the local authority may issue the registration certificate without referring the application to the Aliens Office.
  7. If the applicant derives income from a third person who is not a citizen of the EU or is unable to provide proof of relationship with his/her family members, then the application may be forwarded to the Aliens Office. In such cases, the Aliens Office will take a decision within five months.
  8. If the applicant’s family members are not EU citizens, then the applicant must seek a family member residence card within three months of the entry of the family member in the country.
  9. The investor immigrant will be required to provide proof of relationship with the family member and proof of having adequate financial resources for the sustenance of the family in Belgium.

Take Note

This document is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should not act or rely on any information in this document without first seeking legal advice. This material is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any specific questions on any legal matter, you should consult a professional legal services provider.

Natural Resources

  • construction materials, silica sand, carbonates, arable land

Ethnic Groups

  • Belgian 75.2%, Italian 4.1%, Moroccan 3.7%, French 2.4%, Turkish 2%, Dutch 2%, other 10.6% (2012 est.)

Languages

  • Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%

Religion

  • Roman Catholic 50%, Protestant and other Christian 2.5%, Muslim 5%, Jewish 0.4%, Buddhist 0.3%, atheist 9.2%, none 32.6% (2009 est.)

Median Age

  • total: 41.6 years
  • male: 40.4 years
  • female: 42.8 years (2020 est.)

Urbanization

  • urban population: 98.1% of total population (2021)
  • rate of urbanization: 0.38% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

 Physician density

  • 3.07 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

 Government type

  • federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Unemployment Rate

  • 5.36% (2019 est.)
  • 5.96% (2018 est.)

Taxes

Headline Personal Income Tax Rate (highest marginal tax rate) 

  • 79.5
  • (20.5% (mandatory social security tax)
  • 50% (federal)
  • 30-89EUR (regional)
  • 3-9% (municipal)

Headline Corporate Income Tax Rate (excluding dividend taxes) - 25%

Corporate income tax (CIT)

  • CIT is levied at a rate of 25%. This rate applies to both Belgian companies (subject to Belgian CIT) and Belgian PEs of foreign companies (subject to Belgian non-resident CIT). 
  • Capital gains on qualifying shares realised when meeting all conditions are fully exempt, while non-qualifying shares are subject to the 25% rate.

Taxes on personal income

  • Personal income tax (PIT) is calculated by determining the tax base and assessing the tax due on that base. Taxation is charged on a sliding scale to successive portions of net taxable income. For income year 2021, the federal tax rates range between 25% - 50% 

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