Exchanging your driving license for a Belgian version remains an administrative hurdle for expats. As soon as you are registered as a Belgian resident, this becomes compulsory. Depending on the commune in which you live, this exchange can take any number of weeks, during which time you cannot drive. Our relocation committee remains on the case and has been in contact with the authorities to gain further clarification.
Without a doubt, the biggest societal shift that took place in 2020 was due to the Coronavirus pandemic. From one day to the next, we collectively came to realise we could no longer take the world we live in for granted. Working from home, people started noticing and appreciating their surroundings more. City dwellers breathed more deeply, experiencing first-hand the impact of carbon emissions on air quality. Rural residents woke up to find sheep roaming now empty village high streets. Empty shelves in supermarkets highlighted our reliance on the global supply chain. A wakeup call that changed perspectives, including on sustainability, across the generations.
Earlier this year, Fragomen published its 2021 Worldwide Trends Report. It includes an immigration trends analysis broken down by region and extracts key themes and emerging trends based on Fragomen’s reference library of more than 50,000 data points, 400 global client alerts, and white papers and opinion pieces published through September 2020. We bring you an abridged version, for the full report please click the link at the end of this article.
When the corona crisis first reached Belgium, the government rushed to provide adequate support measures for all those affected. It led to a myriad of solutions, and unfortunately it wasn’t always clear who was entitled to what and under which conditions. With the crisis lasting longer than anticipated, the existing support measures were scrutinised, simplified and extended into 2021.
On 31st January 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union. A transition period followed, lasting until 31st December 2020 during which time, freedom of movement continued to apply. This transition period ends on 1st January 2021, which means you will have to apply for a new status as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement.
“So, what do you do?” is perhaps the most often asked question in any given social situation. It’s not surprising then that we often believe our identity to be wrapped up with our careers. But what happens when you move abroad? Can you continue to further your career as a trailing partner, or will you feel left behind during your partner’s foreign assignment? Finding the answer might not be as difficult as you expect…
With Belgium in the European top 3 for COVID-19 related deaths per 100,000 inhabitants and with a second lockdown freshly instated, it’s safe to say that, as a nation, we’re on high alert. It’s also safe to say that these last eight months have had their impact on our mental wellbeing. We caught up with past ABRA keynote speaker Willemijn van Dommelen of PRR Consultancy to find out how we can fortify our mental resilience in times of COVID.
The scale and impact of the novel coronavirus and subsequent quarantine measures have led us all into uncharted territory. As the pandemic continues to evolve, our serviced apartment providers have been working hard to ensure they are able to provide tenants and staff with a safe and hygienic environment. We wanted to find out how our accommodation providers have experienced the past eight months and how they are coping now that we are back in lockdown. Our thanks go out to everyone who responded to our informal callout for feedback.
Initially, Belgium kept a conservative position on the EU recommendations for border reopening and travel from outside the EU was highly restricted. Belgium only considered EU Blue Card Holders as essential highly skilled workers exempt from the travel ban.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 17th: It appears private individuals may now view properties, providing no one else is on site at the time.
The lockdown instated on Monday November 2nd has called for all non-essential businesses to close. The list of allowed commercial activities is more extensive than during the first lockdown, but under the current governmental guidelines property viewings, and entry and exit surveys are forbidden.