Rights and obligations

Rights

In general, permanent residence allows you to stay in Belgium indefinitely, working or otherwise, under similar conditions and enjoying similar rights and benefits as Belgian nationals.

These include:

  • open access to employment, conditions of employment and working conditions;
  • right to education, recognition of qualifications, grants;
  • welfare benefits;
  • social assistance;
  • freedom of association and union membership

Citizenship gives you all the above but you can also leave Belgium for periods of time without losing your status, while with permanent residence, if you leave for longer than one/two years, you lose your status. Plus, Belgian citizenship can help you get the sense of belonging to a nation and a community.

Obligations

On the website https://www.asyluminfo.be/en/asylum/reception/rights-obligations/ you can find all the rights and obligations you have to known.

After recognitions, you will have these obligations

  • Respect the law in Belgium: You must respect the law in Belgium, just as anyone else living in or visiting the country. Read more here: https://www.loc.gov/law/help/guide/nations/belgium.php
  • Look for a house: http://www.belgique-infos.be/what-are-my-rights-%E2%80%A8as-a-tenant/?lang=en#.XEN5GC2ZOfU .
  • Renting your home: see for instance this real estate website
  • Be sure to enquire about certain practical details:
    • furnished or not
    • rental guarantee
    • connections to water, gas, electricity, telephone, cable, WiFi, etc.
  • Register with the commune: Once you have found a place to live, you should register as soon as possible in the commune (town hall) to which your house or apartment belongs, and show them your documents from the Commissioner-General for Refugees and Stateless Persons. They will process your request and provide you with an electronic identity card. Important: If you are recognised as a refugee, make sure that the word “refugee” appears under “nationality” on your electronic identity card.
  • Visit your communal CPAS/OCMW : CPAS (Centre Public d’Action Sociale) or OCMW (Openbaar Centrum voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn) supports you in various ways and offers social assistance
  • Register for health insurance (see topic Health Care on migis.eu)
  • Register at FOREM/VDAB/ ACTIRIS: Depending on where you live you should register at FOREM/VDAB/ ACTIRIS to start your job search.
  • If you live in Brussels go to ACTIRIS
  • If you live in Wallonia go to FOREM
  • If you live in Flanders go toVDAB
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