On arrival

Intake and introduction

Employees who are new to Ghent University or change their status will be invited by the DPO Welcome team, no later than on their first working day.

Three to four times a year, the Welcome team organises a reception event where you, as a new employee, can meet the university as an employer, as well as the (vice-)rector and many new colleagues.

A welcome will also be given at the faculty. A buddy is appointed.

Related information

Opening a bank account in Belgium

In the case of an employment as an international employee we suggest you to open a bank account at a Belgian bank of your choice. Opening an account is generally a quick and simple process in Belgium. Banks usually only require your passport and a bank application form. Some banks may also request proof of residence.
You can also pre-open your account and receive your code numbers to manage your account before you arrive in Belgium and receive your bank and credit cards when you go to your first appointment with your bank advisor.

After opening a Belgian bank account, please communicate the account number to the personnel administration.  

Please make sure you have sufficient personal financial means to cover your expenses in Ghent during the first month of your stay(s).

It is possible that you will receive your first payment only after one month upon the signing of your contract.

Relocation policy of Ghent University

Professorial staff appointed or nominated by Ghent University or IOF mandate holders who transfer their main place of residence from abroad to Belgium and who have been employed at Ghent University for a minimum of 2 (consecutive) years can apply for a relocation fee.

Registration in the municipality (short stay)

All foreign employees, including those from the European Union, must report to the municipality (in the place of residence) after arriving in our country.

This duty to report is an administrative obligation, which has no influence on the legality of the stay and does not lead to a main place of residence (‘domicile’).

The registration must be performed within a certain period of time.

EEA nationals: notification of presence – (annex 3ter) within 10 days of arrival in Belgium

Non-EEA nationals: declaration of arrival – (annex 3) within 3 days of arriving in Belgium

This is not needed for expats staying at a hotel. The hotel will report their presence.

Applying for a residence permit (long stay)

All foreign employees, including those from the European Union, must register at the Migration Office if they stay in Belgium for longer than three months.

Within 8 days of arriving in Belgium, an application must be submitted to the municipal administration in the place of residence. In this way, registration in the foreigners register and a residence permit can be applied for.

Important: These procedures will change as from January 2019 as consequence of the new Single Residence Permit procedure.

The DPO Welcome team applies for residence permits for international employees who settle in Ghent. The Expats counter processes the residency application faster than the normal counter by registering by e-mail, quicker residence determination, etc. Expats can also start their stay procedure at the normal counter, without the intervention of DPO. The choice made is final.

The international employee provides the Welcome team with the following documents:

  • Copy of visa (if applicable)
  • Employer certificate or proof of registration of doctorate
  • Copy of passport
  • Work permit/document of exemption from work permit/guest agreement/scholarship agreement
  • Arrival declaration

The Welcome team submits the documents to the city of Ghent itself.

The city of Ghent sends all the information for approval to the Immigration Department of FPS Internal Affairs. After approval, the international employee is invited (via the Welcome team) to the Migration Office for the residence card application.

The pin/puk codes are sent to the person’s home address with an invitation to collect the residence card from the Civil Affairs Department.

The Welcome team currently only offers a service for employees who settle in Ghent.

Staff members who settle outside of Ghent can arrange their stay themselves, but of course they can contact the Welcome team with their questions.


Ghent University offers an insurance package for international visitors. In addition, they must themselves provide a number of insurance policies.

Inform DPO

  • Provide DPO with complete information at the time of appointment or during employment at Ghent University.
  • Always keep the file managers informed of any changes to your family situation. This allows the possible implications to be checked.
  • Always keep the file managers informed of any change in your employment (outside of Ghent University). In this case too, this allows the possible implications to be checked.

Additional information per country