Special Travel Circumstances in Belgium

Belgian law requires that everyone carry official identification at all times. This ID must be displayed upon request to any Belgian police official. U.S. citizens who are not residents of Belgium will need to present a U.S. passport.While most monetary transactions are available (cash, credit cards), U.S. money orders cannot be negotiated in Belgium. Personal checks may only be cleared through a bank at which a person holds an account, and clearance can take two to four weeks. Banks and exchange facilities may refuse U.S. dollar denominations of $50 and $100 if they are not equipped with devices to identify counterfeit currency. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are widespread in Belgium and accept most U.S. ATM cards for fund withdrawals. If you want to purchase Euros, you are likely to find a more favorable exchange rate at banks than at money exchange facilities located at tourist locations, train stations, and airports.

Non-EU citizens visiting Belgium and staying in a private residence must register with local Commune authorities within three days of their arrival. You must request any change in visa or resident status through Commune authorities. You must complete any such request prior to the expiration of the current status. You should note that given the substantial requirements to change status, it is very difficult to do so within the 90 days permitted to remain in Belgium without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program.

Business visitor and employee registration requirement: Non-Belgian employees and self-employed persons or their employees who carry out short-term assignments in Belgium must declare these activities in advance. This mandatory "Limosa" declaration applies to: (1) Employees and apprentices who come to Belgium to execute certain temporary work and who, because of the nature of their short term assignment, are not subject to the Belgian social security system; (2) Self-employed individuals and self-employed apprentices who come to work in Belgium temporarily, irrespective of whether they are subject to the Belgian social security system.

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