Your domicile or main residence is the place where you (and your family) reside for most of the year. Your domicile is determined by reality and the determination is based on different elements:
- Where you head after work
- Where your children go to school
- Energy consumption and the telephone costs
- The usual residence of the spouse or other family members
If you leave Belgium and move your main residence abroad, you have to deregister from the Belgian population register. This also applies to any family members that come along. Deregistering happens at the latest happen the day before departure by declaring it to the municipal authorities of your Belgian commune of residence. You will receive a certificate of deregistration (model 8). With this certificate, along with your ID card and your proof of residence abroad, you can register at the Belgian embassy of the consulate of your new residence.
Tip: Contact the Belgian municipal authorities at your Belgian commune of residence.
Tip: Once you reside abroad, it’s a good idea to contact the Belgian embassy or the consulate. Once you are registered, you are entitled to use consular services.
Retaining a Belgian domicile
If you’re not sure whether you will stay abroad permanently, you can change your status to “temporary absentee”. You do need to report your absence from your Belgian residence beforehand at your local commune. Being temporarily absent is only possible for people who perform a specific job or mission abroad for less than a year, or for people who stay abroad due to business trips, health, tourism, or a holiday accommodation for less than a year. You also need physical place of residence in Belgium that you can return to at any given moment.
Tip: If you are not sure you are eligible to change your status to temporary absentee, check the requirements.
Tip: Report your temporary absence in due time. If you are absent for more than six months without a notification of your temporary absence, you can be deregistered from the Belgian population register.