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Richard Maddow

Question:

Ms. Sullivan:
My wife and I are US citizens, and are retired. We have ample savings, and income as well as portable health insurance. We would like to live in Belgium, without work. I see that Belgium offers a retirement visa; but asks for ties to Belgium and reference letters from Belgium citizens. How important are these matters, and what kind of ties and references are normally required? We are planning some extended visits to Belgium and we are not planning to move immediately or soon. Can you give us any guidance on these matters? Any guidance would be appreciated. We speak some French and a little German. Thanks in advance.

by Richard Maddow on 13 May 2017
Christine Sullivan

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Answer:

Dear Mr. Maddow,

Thank you for your question - you are correct that retirees can in some instances obtain the right to live in Belgium, but that proof of ties to Belgium will be required.

Do you plan to purchase property in Belgium? If so, since you have no real ties with Belgium, we would refer to your language knowledge and the acquisition of property to show your affiliation with the country. We must point out that the issuance of a retirement visa is always at the discretion of the authorities. There are routes to residence for retirees in France and (for US citizens) in the Netherlands that are more relaxed and if you are flexible about where you will live these could be good options for you.

I am happy to tell you more about retiring to Belgium, or a neighbouring country, and you can reach me directly.

Best Regards,
Christine

by Christine Sullivan on 15 May 2017

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