Single Permit Renewal Process

work rights assured

A little over a year ago Belgium implemented the EU Single Permit Directive for non-EU citizens seeking to work in Belgium for more than 90 days. The Single Permit, combining both work and residence authorization into one document issued through a single application procedure, represented an important step forward. However, substantial challenges continued to be faced by the business community due to lengthy procedures and lack of legal certainty.

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Industry Update

a brand new tool for expats, relocators and HR

Over 232 million people relocate annually to all corners of the globe, yet only a fraction receive professional support from relocation service providers. Millions of foreign assignees are left to find their own way around their new home country, with varying levels of success. The brand new platform Xpatris.com aims to help smooth their entry into Belgium by providing immediate access to the most essential information. We spoke with cofounder Salvatore Orlando to find out more.

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Flatsharing with a Refugee #6

the end of an era

Project Curant has come to an end. After three years, the last duos moved out at the end of October and the cohabitation project finished. From November 1, 2016 to October 31, 2019, 81 newcomers and 77 buddies had the opportunity to get to know themselves and other cultures up close. 37 couples stayed in an apartment with two or four bedrooms; six couples studied together in a student house on Antwerp’s Klapdorp; 16 couples were assigned a place in the brand new ‘BREM 16’ complex and 4 matched couples moved into homes that were already owned by the city of Antwerp. The aim of the project was to offer housing, education and a social safety net to newcomers who had a recognised refugee status or were entitled to subsidiary protection.

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Moving from Belgium to L.A.

interview with Ann-Sophie Van Lommel

Belgium’s talented Ann-Sophie Van Lommel has been intrigued by performing since she was a little girl. At a certain moment, Belgium became too small and she decided to pack her belongings and leave everything behind  to follow her dream of becoming an actress. She applied for a two year education at The Stella Adler Academy of Acting, booked herself a flight, and moved to L.A.

Anne-Sophie Van Lommel. Image by Yvel Sagaille.

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New Membership Category

freelance consultants, committee reports and more

As you may be aware, the ABRA Board focuses its efforts through dedicated committees for each theme: relocation, membership, events and communication. By bundling our strengths we are able to work more effectively and efficiently, however, it’s not just board members who drive our committees. Any ABRA member can join and even chair a committee. We are always seeking new insights and bright ideas on how we can move our association forward. Ideas such as the creation of our brand new membership category specifically for freelance relocation consultants.

new membership category

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Defining Opportunities

in an era of globalisation, automation and accelerating change

With so many outstanding sessions and thought provoking speakers at this year’s EuRA conference, it wasn’t easy choosing one to feature. However, the session on identifying trends discussed important global meta trends and their impact on the mobility industry. Recurring themes throughout the conference included rising costs and dropping prices, the changing scope of work, the rising popularity of the lump sum relocation and systematic under-investment in technology. Moderator Francis Edmonds spoke with Bill Graebel, owner and CEO of Greabel Companies and Chairman and CEO of Dwellworks Bob Rosen to get their take on these issues.

EuRA relocation conference

from left to right: Bob Rosen, Bill Graebel and Francis Edmonds

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Flatsharing with a Refugee #5

when religion gets in the way

When I was first introduced to Izat, I was expecting to be faced with different cultural customs and habits. I had however not expected to live with someone for whom religion is such an important part of life. Call me naive, but I simply hadn’t considered it. Izat is an avid follower of Islam, but it took me a while to figure that out. Because we only talked about basic things such as housekeeping, school and work, I had no idea how important being faithful to his God was to him and how much that would end up influencing our living together.

flatsharing with a refugee, on religion

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Flatsharing with a Refugee #4

on sex, love and relationships

I have never asked myself so many questions about the subject of relationships, as since I began living with Izat. Never before have I had so many problems expressing myself and explaining things to someone else when talk turns to the Belgian view on love and friendship. And to be honest, it’s the cause of a fair amount of frustration because our views on these themes are so vastly different.

flatsharing with a refugee, on love, sex and relationships

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First ASAP event held in Brussels

This spring the first ASAP network event took place at an amazing location on the Brussels Grand Place. This was hosted by BBF, leader in the rental of serviced apartments, and sponsored by KBC Brussels. BBF Serviced Apartments, or previously Brussels Business Flats, has been an important player in providing temporary accommodation to expats and employees of international companies and organisations since 1992. BBF currently operates more than 1700 apartments in Brussels and Budapest, and recently it has also set foot in Antwerp.

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