Before leaving

Establishing your main residence abroad

Any Belgian citizen who wishes to change his or her main place of residence to another country must declare this move to his or her local municipal authorities at the latest the day before departure.

At this point, the municipal authorities will issue a ‘model 8’ form stating that he/she has been struck from the population register.

When you provide this ‘model 8’ form, your Belgian identity card and proof that you have set up mainly and lawfully abroad – this proof could be a photocopy of your long-term visa abroad or your residence permit issued by the local authorities – you may then sign on to the population registers held by your Belgian consulate abroad. It is advised that you contact this consulate beforehand to find out which documents you must provide in order to register.

Please note: administrative support is only given to Belgian citizens who have been entered in the consular population register. You may be able to obtain an identity card or consular certificates (e.g. residence certificate, certificate of nationality and so forth), more effective humanitarian aid in an emergency, or renew a passport more easily, etc.

Retaining your main residence in Belgium

If you are not yet certain that you wish to live abroad permanently, you may also remain signed on to the population registers in Belgium as being ‘temporarily absent’. This temporary absence from your main residence in Belgium must however be notified to your local municipal authorities before you leave.

For further information please contact your municipality.

Tax consequences

To obtain information on the tax consequences of being struck off the population register in Belgium, we advise you to contact your tax office of the Federal Public Service Finance:

Tel.: +02/872 57 57

Website: (Dutch) (French)

Residence conditions

For information on the conditions which must be met for residence (residence permit, work permit and so forth), please contact the embassy of your future country of residence in Brussels.

Social security

In terms of social security, a move abroad may also have certain consequences (some services may no longer be available, rules surrounding payment may be subject to change, etc.). For detailed information on this topic, please contact the relevant services in Belgium (your health insurance fund, the National Employment Office, the National Pension Office, etc.), or the Federal Public Service for Social Security:

Tel.: 02/545 50 70

For information on local social security coverage for foreigners in your new country of residence, please contact that country’s embassy.

Other questions

You can also find information on moving or staying abroad on the federal portal site.