Everything You Need to Know About Moving to Belgium from the US

Posted Country Guides / August 17, 2023
Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

Preparing to leave the familiarity of the United States behind and step into a world of European enchantment surely needs a lot of courage. But the fact you’re moving to Belgium with its rich history, delectable cuisine, and vibrant culture, you’ll find yourself uncovering the hidden gems of this amazing country. So, get ready to unlock the secrets of a seamless transition and embrace the extraordinary experiences that await you in the heart of Europe.

Start Your European Adventure by Obtaining the Needed Paperwork and Documentation

Prepare to navigate a paperwork labyrinth as you embark on your move across the world to Belgium (BE). Before immersing yourself in the cobblestone streets and picturesque landscapes, there are several important documents and paperwork to gather.

First and foremost, you’ll need to unravel the mysteries of visas and permits to ensure your legal entry into the country. That way, you’ll prepare adequately for this quest. Whether you’re seeking employment, studying, or planning to settle down, you’ll need to apply for the right visa on time.

Additionally, don’t forget to gather essential documents like your passport, birth certificate, and marriage certificate, as these will prove invaluable during the relocation process, especially if you’re doing it alone. Get ready to conquer the bureaucratic hurdles and pave the way for an extraordinary Belgian adventure.

Guaranteed prices for International Moving. No hidden fees or surprises! Get a Quote

Want to Get Citizenship and Permanent Residency When Moving Overseas? Here’s What You Need to Know About the BE Bureaucracy

Acquiring citizenship and permanent residency involves a series of meticulous steps, from fulfilling specific requirements to submitting countless documents. Patience and perseverance are key for enduring the necessary waiting periods. Assess your citizenship or permanent residency eligibility by contacting the BE Embassy. Whether you’re an American working in Europe or want to boost your knowledge, be sure to choose the suitable type.

So, besides hiring the Sunset International Moving Company, be sure you start collecting all necessary documents, which may include a valid passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), proof of language proficiency (typically in Dutch, French, or German), proof of income, and evidence of integration into BE society.

Is There a Great Difference in the Cost of Living Compared to the One in the USA?

One crucial factor to consider is the cost of living in Belgium compared to what you are accustomed to in the US. According to data sourced from the website Numbeo, the overall cost of living in Belgium does not differ significantly from that of the United States.

To gain a clearer understanding, it is advisable to conduct a thorough comparison of transportation, utility expenses, childcare costs, and housing prices between the two countries. By undertaking this analysis, you will be able to answer the question of whether living in Belgium is expensive or not, making your financial planning more informed and manageable.

Prepare Financially for a Big Move in Your Life

Navigating the intricacies of an international move can be a complex undertaking. It involves not only the daunting task of managing paperwork and shipping your belongings overseas but also considering the financial aspect of the relocation. And this stands for not only the best countries to live in but for every part of the world.

Relocating to a different country can substantially impact your finances if not properly planned. It is crucial to carefully determine the optimal time for your move. Additionally, enlisting the services of a reputable overseas moving company can help ensure the safe transportation of your possessions, allowing you to focus on other important aspects. That’s why you should consider Sunset International Shipping and take advantage of our professional international moving services.

Pick the Most Suitable Province You’ll Call Home When Relocating to Belgium

When you find the best European country to live in, one of the foremost hurdles individuals often face is discovering an ideal location to establish roots. This highlights the importance of commencing research well in advance. By delving into the various available options, you can alleviate the added stress of purchasing or renting a property overseas, ensuring a smoother transition.

In your quest for a residence, it’s important to note that the country is divided into three distinct regions: Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia. Each region has its own dominant language, so it’s crucial to consider this linguistic aspect when selecting your desired destination.

Additionally, while Belgium may be relatively small compared to the United States, this does not limit your housing options. Whether you lean towards urban settings or prefer the tranquility of rural areas, rest assured that there is undoubtedly a place you can call home.

What to Choose – Urban or Rural Area of BE?

Despite being smaller in size compared to many European countries, Belgium offers a plethora of accommodation options. However, you may find yourself facing a dilemma when it comes to selecting the best location.

In such moments, it is essential to introspect and ask yourself key questions: What are the motives behind your move? What are your specific requirements and expectations from the location?

By reflecting on these aspects, you will be able to streamline your search, making the decision-making process more straightforward and ultimately finding one of the best cities in Europe to live in for your needs.


Brussels, being both the capital and the economic hub, serves as an enticing destination for ambitious professionals seeking abundant employment prospects in Europe. Brussels is the place to be if you aspire to chase a thriving career. Moreover, with nearly 70% of its residents hailing from diverse international backgrounds, the city embraces remarkable cultural diversity, fostering an environment renowned for its welcoming and friendly nature.


Bruges beckons to those captivated by the allure of Venice’s aesthetic but are not necessarily inclined to relocate to Italy. With its enchanting cobbled streets and medieval canals, Bruges stands as one of Belgium’s most captivating cities. It offers an idyllic setting for retirement or a charming environment to raise a family.


Antwerp emerges as a prime destination for individuals seeking one of Europe’s premier cities for students. This vibrant city not only offers a multitude of renowned international schools but also hosts a substantial population of American families, fostering the growth of English-speaking clubs and vibrant expat communities. Antwerp is a haven where students and expatriates can thrive and find a sense of belonging.


Gent offers a unique blend of cosmopolitan vibrancy and provincial charm. It presents an ideal choice for individuals who find themselves torn between the allure of urban living and the tranquility of the suburbs. By becoming a resident of Gent, you open the door to the possibility of residing in an apartment that boasts stunning views of the picturesque river, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Break the Language Barrier for Easier Blending In

Unlocking the key to a new culture begins with breaking down the language barrier, and in BE, it’s no different. As you embark on your adventure in this enchanting country, embracing the local languages of Dutch (Flemish), French, and German will open doors to deeper connections and a richer experience.

Whether you immerse yourself in Dutch conversations in vibrant Flemish markets or indulge in the poetic melodies of the French language in cozy Brussels cafes, each linguistic step you take brings you closer to effortlessly adjusting to a new country. So, why not make that extra effort and check out some tips for learning a new language that will make your life a lot easier?

That’s why you should check out the video below and see how to learn a language quickly and catch some of the Dutch phrases.

Belgium’s Renowned Healthcare System Deserves a Spotlight in Your Research

The healthcare system stands as a shining example of excellence, drawing admiration from around the world. Renowned for its high standards, accessibility, and comprehensive coverage, Belgium’s healthcare system offers a reassuring embrace to its residents and expatriates.

Whether it’s access to top-notch specialists, advanced medical technologies, or a robust network of pharmacies, BE leaves no stone unturned when it comes to providing world-class healthcare. So, rest assured that in the heart of Europe, Belgium stands tall as a guardian of health, safeguarding its people with a system that is as impressive as it is compassionate.

The US Embassy in Brussels can provide a list of English-speaking physicians for expats who have not yet mastered the local languages. When seeking medical attention, it is crucial to have your Social Security Identity card and insurance fund stickers handy. These stickers should be affixed to the medical bill to facilitate reimbursement for incurred costs, ensuring a seamless healthcare experience.

Be Aware of the Employment and Entrepreneurial Endeavors and Crave Your Path

Being the administrative hub of the European Union, Belgium presents a thriving landscape teeming with a plethora of international organizations and multinational corporations that extend enticing employment prospects to expatriates. Moreover, the country boasts a highly globalized economy, with a particular emphasis on service-oriented industries like media, tourism, and banking, creating a wealth of opportunities for career growth.

BE Has Some of the Lower Unemployment Rates in the EU

If concerns about how you’ll find employment while relocating arise, rest assured that BE boasts lower unemployment rates compared to the European Union average. Consequently, you need not worry about the possibility of moving to Belgium without a job, as numerous companies actively seek a capable workforce to fill their ranks. The job market here offers a welcoming environment for expatriates, with an abundance of opportunities awaiting those eager to embark on a professional journey in this dynamic country.

If You’re Striving for a Higher Education When Moving Abroad, BE Is the Right Country for You

BE upholds a remarkable standard of education, earning accolades from annual reports conducted by the OECD, a prominent economic organization. These reports consistently rank Belgium’s education system within the top 10 among all evaluated countries, with students displaying above-average proficiency in science, mathematics, and reading. Furthermore, BE demonstrates a strong commitment to investing in education, allocating one of the highest expenditure levels among the 40 OECD member countries.

Numerous schools and universities provide English courses to cater to international students. This presents a valuable opportunity for students to enhance their language skills and broaden their horizons. Depending on the educational institution, English instruction can commence in either primary or secondary school, ensuring students have ample opportunities to develop their English skills throughout their academic journey.

Beyond Waffles and Chocolate – Unravel Belgian Joie de Vivre

Beyond the world-renowned delights of waffles and chocolate, Belgium holds a treasure trove of cultural wonders waiting to be discovered. Belgian culture is an exquisite tapestry woven with historical richness, artistic prowess, and a zest for life.

Indulge in the vibrant flavors of Belgian cuisine, from savory delights like moules-frites (mussels with fries) to the comforting warmth of carbonade flamande (beef stew). Immerse yourself in the brewing tradition that birthed a plethora of renowned Belgian beers, each with its own distinct character and flavors. Here are some other facts you need to know:

  • Delve into the artistic heritage, where the works of Flemish masters like Van Eyck and Rubens come to life in awe-inspiring museums and captivating galleries. Explore the charming streets of Brussels, Ghent, and Bruges, where medieval architecture blends seamlessly with modern cosmopolitan vibes.
  • To truly experience the BE joie de vivre that will make you forget about the culture shock, indulge in local traditions such as lively festivals like the colorful Carnaval de Binche or the whimsical Ommegang pageant. Discover hidden gems like the breathtakingly beautiful Ardennes forests, the tranquil canals of Bruges, or the stunning architecture of the Atomium in Brussels.
  • Embrace the convivial atmosphere of BE cafés, where locals gather to savor a rich cup of coffee or indulge in a plate of fries with a dollop of tangy mayo. Dive into the spirited world of Belgian comic strips and witness the beloved characters of Tintin and the Smurfs come to life.

Transportation Here Is Well-Developed

What makes BE one of the best places to live abroad? Surely among many, it’s the fact it offers a well-developed transportation infrastructure. It allows residents and visitors to navigate the country efficiently, whether for daily commuting, exploring cities, or traveling between regions.

This means that this country boasts an extensive network of public transportation, including buses, trams, and trains. Major cities like Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent have well-connected public transport systems that make commuting within urban areas smooth and convenient. The national railway company, SNCB/NMBS, provides efficient train services that connect various cities and towns in Belgium as well as neighboring countries.

Also, BE is known for its bicycle-friendly culture, and cycling is a popular mode of transportation. So, if you’re already booking shipping overseas services, keep in mind you can bring your bicycle with you, as well. Many cities have dedicated cycling lanes and bike-sharing systems, making it easy and enjoyable to explore urban areas by bike. The country’s flat landscape and well-maintained cycling infrastructure contribute to the cycling culture.

Check the Climate Before Start the Packing Quest

Belgium has a temperate maritime climate characterized by mild summers and cool winters. This surely is the key factor when it comes to packing for an overseas relocation. Not to mention this is something you shouldn’t omit when hiring movers and their packing services. So, here Here are some key features of the climate in BE that will help you decide what to keep:

  • Moderate summers – Summers in BE are generally mild and pleasant. Average temperatures range from 20°C (68°F) to 25°C (77°F), although occasional heat waves may result in higher temperatures. It’s a great time to explore outdoor attractions, enjoy outdoor dining, and experience cultural festivals.
  • Mild winters – Winters here are cool and relatively mild compared to some other European countries. Average temperatures range from 0°C (32°F) to 7°C (45°F). While snowfall is not as common in coastal areas, occasional snowfall can occur in the Ardennes region. It’s a good idea to prepare for colder temperatures this season.
  • Rainfall throughout the year – BE experiences rainfall throughout the year, with no distinct dry season. Rainfall is evenly distributed, but the months from July to October tend to be slightly wetter. It’s advisable to carry an umbrella or raincoat when exploring outdoor activities.
  • Spring and autumn – These are transition seasons characterized by mild temperatures and colorful landscapes. These seasons offer pleasant weather for outdoor activities and exploring the picturesque countryside.

No matter where you’re relocating, checking the climate is a must. After all, it has been a turning point in many’s decisions, especially when relocating internationally.

Seize the Chance to Embark on a Life-Changing Journey

Whether you’re captivated by the historic charm of Bruges, enticed by the bustling energy of Brussels, or enamored by the cultural richness of Belgium as a whole, now is the time to seize the chance. Embrace the vibrant tapestry of Belgian life, from savoring mouthwatering delicacies to exploring breathtaking landscapes.

In order to immerse yourself in the warmth of its people, unravel the secrets of its languages, and create memories that will last a lifetime, be sure you have the much-needed support of a professional overseas shipping company. Sunset International Shipping has many years of experience, so all you need to do is contact us, and we’ll make your relocation a breeze.

Get a Quote

    Download Moving Abroad Checklist
    Get a Free Estimate 855-443-4200