1. What do I need to get started?

You need to provide us with:

— a scanned copy of your travel passport

— your legal address (where you live now)

— a signed contract and a prepayment to our Company’s account (3000EUR)

— your Residence permit copy if you live outside of your home country

— your CV or similar: we need a description of your professional activities and your educational background.

  1. Where do I apply?

— You always apply via the embassy in the country where you live.

If you already have a valid residence in another Schengen country you can apply in that country.

If you apply for Latvian Residence Permit then you can, with you current Residence Permit form another Schengen country, apply directly with Migration office in Riga.

  1. Can my family join me?

— Normally yes, after you have received your residence permit (except in Latvia where you can apply together).

— Consider the fact that your tax position will most likely be affected if all of your family will join you. Since your place for principal economic interest is de-facto where your family is located you will be liable to report your worldwide income in your new country. Needless to say, that generally tax burden is generally heavier than in Middle East, thus you may be liable to pay your tax from all income from the countries where else it is non-taxed.

Therefore we do not advise all of your family to get a residence permit unless your family will be really residing in the new country.

Don’t forget that in Europe there is a schooling obligation for all kids from the age of six. If your kids do not go to school you will have to explain this to the related authorities.

  1. Can I get passport in the end?

— Yes, if you fulfill the conditions.

First, you must be in the possession of the Permanent Resident status.

Second, you must prove integration into society, which normally is done via your payment of social contributions and taxes.

Third, you normally will be obliged to have the A2-B1 level of the destination country’s language. You either take an exam or prove it by other means.

Consider just having the permanent resident status. In many cases it is enough: you get the freedom to live In Europe and enter and exit via any Schengen country. On the contrary, you will be obliged to pass the exam, sometimes even renounce your current citizenship if you wish to become the citizen. You can leave this task to your children, who will have an easier time integrating.

  1. Do my kids/wife/husband get the passport too?

— your kids under 18 get it automatically if they reside with you at the moment you are awarded citizenship.

— your wife will be able to get a special residence card, that will allow her to work and to be with you without limitation, as a spouse of the citizen of EU. She will need to have lived for five-ten years and proven her integration in the society (work, language).

— your kids have other means of getting passport on a standalone basis, based on the time they have lived in the destination country.

  1. As the holder of the residence permit, am I obliged to stay in the country all the time?

— No, you can travel. You must only make sure that you maintain your residence address and that you do receive post. Your number of days in the country is not verified by the stamps in your passport.

We can help with post pickup for you.

  1. In Belgium, what is a Professional Card, what is it for, what does it give, how is it related to a D Visa?

This is a work permit for an entrepreneur (company director and/or owner).

A Visa type D (long-term) is issued once the professional card is approved.

  1. Is it necessary to have a local partner, local director, any local staff?

— By law, it is not necessary, but de facto it is impossible to do without a local representative.

This proves also that you are creating jobs and this is what is needed to renew your documents. You can hire people part time, on as little as 13 hours per week. It will cost you around 300 EUR per month, salary to be paid will be around 600 EUR.

  1. What is the maximum number of partners in an LLC? Do they all qualify for a D visa / a professional card / a residence permit?

— In Belgium we do not recommend, at least in the beginning, to start a business with more than two partners, unless your project is very serious. You may add people later depending on success of your business. Maximum number is 10.

— In Hungary we recommend to start just with one person.

  1. What passport is necessary?

— International, valid for at least 1 year. When submitting the documents, it is necessary to provide a copy of the domestic passport or Residence Permit of the country where you live if it is not your Home Country.

  1. What happens if a passport is renewed once D visa / residence permit is issued?

— Nothing. This does not cancel their validity.

  1. What is an interview, in what language is it conducted?

— It may be conducted in the language of the country where embassy is located, but you can do it in English. The main thing during the interview is to come prepared. The purpose of an interview is just to look you in the eye and to reassure that you are a reasonable person. It takes approximately 20 minutes.

Family member (wife/husband) only passes the interview if she/he applies as the partner or director of the company.

There is normally no interview for Latvian visa.

  1. What is a “registration in the commune”?

— A residence permit is issued upon arrival in Belgium. A commune is the local authority that issues the documents. You need to get registered and obtain a residence permit itself; this is done in the commune. You must declare your address.

In Hungary, your residence permit is ready in 10 days after your Visa D is issued, so you physically need to collect it from the Immigration office and to declare your address.

In Latvia you need to arrive with your visa D and get an appointment at Migration office. You pass your medical test right there and your Residence Permit can be issued within 2-5 days. Yor family does the same together with you.

  1. What are the rights and responsibilities of an LLC founder’s family members in terms of a D Visa / a residence permit / naturalization?

— Family members are a wife and children under the age of 18. They receive all the rights to live, to study, and to medical care. Children under the age of 18 obtain a passport automatically as soon as one of the parents is granted citizenship.

If your spouse is a dependent then she can only apply for passport after having lived and worked in Belgium for five years. If she does not work at all she has hard time proving her integration into society and will take longer to get the passport and may be even the Permanent Residence Status.

  1. Do they have to live part of the time in the country, like the founder?

— As they want. It is allowed to leave the territory of Belgium. The Principal applicant can travel as well and is not bound to spend 365/365 days in the same place.

It is very important to look after you residential address, it must be valid. You must be able to receive post.

  1. Do the founder’s family members receive residence permits?

— Yes, but not automatically. A wife has two ways to get it: either as the founder/ co-owner/director, or as the founder’s spouse (reunification); children, only through a reunification procedure.

In Belgium and Hungary family members apply after the principal applicant has received his Residence Permit.

In Latvia all family members may apply together.

  1. What rights and opportunities will they have in 3 / 5 years of maintaining their residence permits?

— After 5 years they may be granted Permanent residence if the principal applicant has received this status. Permanent residence is an unconditional residence permit and allows to work in the destination country without any limitations. You have to request this status and provide a list of documents to the Migration department.

In Belgium and Latvia you have to ensure five years of uninterrupted stay in the country before you can apply, in Hungary- at least three. The process takes four to six months to complete.

  1. Does a professional card / a D Visa / a residence permit have any advantages for an LLC founder or his family members free (without additional visas) moving / living throughout the Schengen Area?

— Yes, free entry to the Schengen Area (the entire EU + Iceland and Switzerland except the United Kingdom and Ireland), as well as Bulgaria/Romania and Cyprus. The right to work as a director of his company throughout Europe.

D Visa is an intermediate stage for obtaining a residence permit; it is usually a single entry ¾ to enter first time and to obtain your residence permit. Its difference from the usual tourist visa is that this visa is for a long-term stay (for settlement).

  1. Does Visa D / Residence Permit have any advantage for principal applicant or his family members free (without additional visas) moving / living throughout other EEC countries?

— Free entry to Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus, Croatia and Albania.

Throughout other European countries?

— Visas to the United Kingdom and Ireland are necessary.

The world as a whole? — No. When you are granted citizenship, then yes; having just the residence permit in Schengen Area requires you a separate visa.

At the same time, it is possible to apply for visas to other countries directly from where you are (Belgium, Latvia, Hungary…)

  1. Will a possible refusal affect future entries into the Schengen Area / EEC?

— No. A future refusal is possible only if you were listed into the offenders system of Schengen countries for visa problems or similar.

  1. What is it necessary to register a company?

In Belgium, to register an LLC (SPRL/BVBA), you must have 1/5 of the authorized capital. This money may be used after the registration, and they may be spent on company expenses.

For Belgium we recommend to declare at least 50000 EUR of capital (out of which 10000 EUR will have to be paid in onto company account). We create your company in Belgium after you have received your residence permit.

The general rule is the more you can pay in as the capital the easier it will be in the future to get your case approved, in any country.

In Hungary and Latvia the company is created for you by our means and is included in our fees.

  1. What is the difference between a residence permit and permanent residence and between permanent residence and naturalization / a passport?

— Residence permit is a temporary residence permit; it is to be extended on the basis of an operating company and a professional card.

— Permanent residence is a permanent residence permit (unconditional, tied neither to a company, nor to a work).

— Passport gives the full set of capabilities of a citizen.

  1. What opportunities does a residence permit give?

— You have the right to medical care, pension, education of children in schools, entry into the Schengen Area and the right to live in the country.

  1. Is medical care good in Belgium? How much does it cost?

— It is very good; comparable, if not better, than in Germany or Switzerland. There are world-class specialists. Service is generally good and friendly. Homeopathy is very well developed in Belgium (the leading European producer). Childbirth, including a week of residence, cost 250 euros. Visiting the gynecologist’s with ultrasonography at a private clinic cost 25 euros, 19 of which were covered with state insurance. Visiting a therapist is 25 to 35 euros. Calling a doctor is 45 euros (home visit).

  1. Is education good in Belgium (schools)?

— In general, the level of secondary school is very high, especially if it is a Catholic school, which is simply more organized. On leaving school, at the age of 18, children know four languages. In elementary school, children are not tortured at all; classes are held from 8:30 to 15:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and on Wednesday from 9:00 to 12:00. There are no classes on Saturday. Teaching of religion, is conducted at the choice of parents (they could invite even a rabbi). There is also the French Lyceum and a bunch of British schools.

  1. How do people in Belgium feel about foreigners?

— Brussels is packed with foreigners. Here are the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council, a bunch of other quasi-diplomatic organizations. Here is NATO. Therefore, in Brussels, they are used to foreigners; it is possible to do a lot of things here only using English. In the Dutch-speaking part, everyone speaks English. At school, there was never a problem.

  1. What about Hungary or Latvia?

— In the recent times the local population is gotten used to the foreigners, and the younger generation does speak English. However to conduct business it is essential to have a local person. The population is generally friendly. It is important to observe the rules and customs, just like anywhere.

  1. What is the weather like there?

— In Belgium, spring and autumn are usually good. In October, there may be +20; leaves fall in November. Summer can vary and it is often rainy. In 2013, July beat all records.

In March, it is usually warm, and in mid-February tulips appear.

In southern Wallonia, it occasionally snows, while in Brussels snow is only for a few days a year.

Despite rains, there are no three days in a row without sun, even for a short time.

— In Hungary the weather is of more continental type and it may get rather hot during summer, with temperatures slightly above 30C. This makes summer holidays in Hungary more predictable. It has a wonderful combination of forests, valleys and lakes, as well as some hills.

— Latvia is more to the north and enjoys the sea climate, with longer daylight in summer and longer nights in winter. It is rarely above 25C in summer. The country is generally flat and has great beaches surrounded by solid pine trees, which makes the time spent there especially peaceful.

  1. How much does real estate cost?

In Brussels, real estate shows a steady growth, but without price jumps. Everything depends on the area, the footage and the condition. In an average area, a 100 m2 apartment can cost about 2,000 to 2,500 euros per square meter. There is a recent example of a two-storey apartment in a good area, 190 m2, for 310,000 euros. Income from renting out an apartment is not taxed. The baseline is 8 to 13 euros per square meter per month.

In Hungary you may buy a countryside house for 20-25000 EUR.

Latvia also has a wide range of inexpensive properties.

  1. Do you have any investment opportunities to join an existing business?

From time to time we have active investment opportunities in Belgium whereby you could invest an amount of at least 100 000 EUR into a solid business and guarantee yourself an occupation and renewal of your permits.

If you are interested please let us know and we will process your request in priority.

As you may know, owning a property does not give any right of stay in Belgium and as such participating in a business is the only way to get settled in Belgium.

  1. What is an approximate cost of obtaining and maintaining residence permit in Belgium via own business?