Belgium Investor Visa Residency Program Review
The UK, Germany and France may grab more headlines, but as the country who’s capital city hosts the headquarters of both NATO and the EU, Belgium is clearly a big deal, despite its small size. Belgium’s Investor Visa Residency Program is highly rated by both critics and customers alike, so Passport Reviewer decide to run the rule over it.
Belgium In A Nutshell
The Kingdom of Belgium is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, Holland, Germany and Luxembourg, and with a North Sea coastline. Belgium nationals are comprised of two main groups; the Dutch-speaking Flemish community which makes up around 60% of the population, and the French-speaking Walloon population which totals around 40% of all Belgians.
Belgium is famous for being one of the first multicultural countries in Europe, and 20% of Belgium’s population are of non-Belgian origin. In order of size, these immigrant groups consist of Italians, Moroccans, Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spaniards, Greeks, Bosnians, Algerians, Congolese, Vietnamese, polls, Indians and Guineans.
Belgium is famous for its Renaissance architecture, with virtually every major town and city still maintaining an element of its medieval history. While Antwerp is Belgium’s largest city and its center of commerce, its capital Brussels is the headquarters of both the European Union and NATO. The country boasts an extremely high standard of living, and when it comes to quality of life, healthcare, education and tax, Belgium is one of the most attractive countries in Europe.
Belgium was the first country to undergo an industrial revolution in Europe in the early 19th century, and it has continued to punch well above its weight economically throughout recent history. One of the founding members of the European Community, about three quarters of its trade is with other EU countries. Belgium benefits greatly from its central geographic location, and has a highly skilled, multilingual and super-productive work force able to capitalize on any and all business opportunities that arise from said location. Belgium’s main industries include engineering, motor vehicle assembly, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass and petroleum.
- Official Languages: Dutch, French, German
- Capital City: Brussels
- Largest City: Antwerp (Pop; 517,000)
- Surface Area: 30,528 km2
- Religion: Christian/secular
- Population: 11.25 million
- Government: Federal parliamentary/Constitutional monarchy
- Legal system: Civil law
- Currency: Euro
- GDP per capita: $44,880
- Climate: Belgium has a temperate climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, with cool summers and moderate winters
Belgium Investor Visa Residency Program
The Belgium Investor Visa Residency Program offers foreign non-EU investors a path to resident status and to ultimately acquiring Belgian citizenship and an EU passport after a five year residency period. A Belgian residence permit allows its holder access to both European Union countries and the Schengen Area.
The Belgium Investor Residency Program is specifically aimed at foreign investors with either a background in business, or with the intention and ambition of becoming business people.
The program requirements are:
- An applicant must invest €350-500,000 in a new Belgian business (or)
- An applicant must invest €350-500,000 in an existing Belgian business
- The new or existing business must employ Belgian labor
- An applicant must prove they are of sound character by providing proof of a clean criminal record, character references, a business CV and proof of origin for the finance used for their investment
- Especially if their intention is to apply for full Belgian citizenship, an applicant will be requested to learn French
Key Advantages of Owning A Business in Belgium:
Belgium is arguably the no.1 location in Western Europe to own a business right now. Here’s why:
- Belgium offers excellent infrastructure in the heart of Europe
- Belgium’s is located right in the center of Western Europe, and among others borders EU heavyweights Germany and France
- Belgium is currently one of Europe’s most attractive jurisdictions for holding companies
- Belgium offers extremely attractive rates of corporate and private taxation
- Attractive residence conditions for non-EU citizens
- Citizenship available after five years of legal residence
Benefits of Belgium Investor Visa Residency Program
The Belgium Investor Visa Residency Program has a multitude of benefits and reasons why a foreign investor with ambitions toward EU citizenship should consider using it, and here are just a handful:
- Cost – With an outlay of as little as €350,000, the Belgium Investor Visa is remarkably good value
- Residency – The program requires very little of the applicant in terms of residential demands, and if they wish to micromanage their Belgian business they are free to
- Status – The program provides residency and ultimately citizenship to one of the most respected cornerstone-nations of Europe, and the hosts the both the EU and NATO
- Schengen Area – As Belgian residents, applicants and their families will have complete freedom of movement throughout Europe’s Schengen Area
- EU Citizenship and Passport – After five years of residency, an applicant and their family members are eligible for full Belgian citizenship and its passport
- Belgian Passport Power – The Belgian passport is ranked joint-fourth in the world, and has visa-free access to 174 countries. Those visa-free areas include the Americas (North, South, Central and the Caribbean) in its entirety, all of Western and parts of Eastern Europe, Southern Africa, parts of Asia, Southeast Asia and Australasia
- EU Citizenship – As a Belgian citizen and EU passport holder, an applicant would be free to live, work and indeed make their home in any European Union country without restrictions on time and with the same rights as a citizen born to that country
Pros and Cons of Living in Belgium
Families having their principal residence in Belgium can rely on a high standard of education, including a wide choice of international schools. Belgian universities are easily accessible and participate in European and international student-exchange programs. Healthcare is also among the best in the world. Thanks to these high educational standards, most Belgians are multilingual, thus facilitating both business and personal contacts.
Apart from having to learn a new language, there is no downside for a foreign high net worth individual who chooses to make Belgium their home or place of business
Passport Reviewer Ranking: A
Belgium’s investor program ranks up there with those of St. Kitts and Nevis, the USA and Austria as one of the top-5 citizenship programs on the market right now. With an outlay of as little as €350,000, the Belgium investor program represents amazingly good value, and the country itself is geared toward giving fledgling investors every opportunity to make their business a success. The Belgium passport is one of the most powerful in the world, and there is considerable status in being a Belgian citizen. Plus, despite the often cold climate, Belgium is a great country full of friendly people, and an excellent location to raise a family.