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IT Jobs in Belgium

IT Jobs in Belgium

Belgium is part of the European community sharing boarders with The Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxembourg. Belgium enjoys a diverse population with three official languages spoken throughout the country. The capital of Belgium is Brussels and around 30% of its population consists of expatriates, making English widely spoken.

Brussels has been described as the ‘cosmopolitan heart’ of Belgium’s business community. The Bourse (stock market), the National Bank and of course the European Union HQ are all situated in Brussels making IT jobs in Belgium an attractive proposition. The majority of the IT jobs in Belgium are based in Brussels.

For those IT professionals who are from a country that is part of the European Union (EU), you will have the right to work in Belgium under the EU’s freedom of movement provisions. In order to become a permanent resident in Belgium you will need to register with the appropriate authorities and upon completion your residency permit will be automatically granted.

Working practices

Due to the 183-day ruling, it is possible to work in Belgium as an employee of a UK company up to a maximum of 183 days (six months) and continue to pay taxes in your home country. It is important to note, however, that as soon as you exceed this deadline by even one day, you become liable for Belgian tax from the first day of your contract.

Furthermore, this ruling does not apply to a one-man limited company. Should you own your own company, and be a sole employee (or a relation to an additional employee), the seat of management can be seen as having relocated to Belgium and the company seen as moving to Belgium with you.

Applying for jobs

Although English is widely spoken in Belgium, especially in Brussels, the country traditionally has three official languages. These are divided up into 60% Flemish (a form of Dutch), 39% French and 1% German.

Applying for IT jobs in Belgium is usually done via CV and covering letter as expected. Due to the regulation of most industries, CV’s and covering letters need to be tailored to the specific job, emphasising relevant skills, qualifications and experience. In some parts of Belgium employees are expected to be competent in the official language of the area/organisation in which they work but in the more commercial areas such as Brussels, English is the official business language. It is of course advantageous to be bilingual in the appropriate languages.

The interviewing process in Belgium commonly consists of more then one interview and usually includes psychometric and aptitude testing. Culturally, Belgian’s regard good manners and modesty highly and will be impressed with any efforts made by the candidate to research and learn about the country.

Living in Belgium

The price of renting and purchasing property in Belgium is slightly less expensive than in the UK. In cities such as Brussels the cost of renting a studio apartment range from 300 to 400 Euros and for a one bedroom apartment from 500 to 900 Euros per month. Luxury and furnished accommodation is generally more expensive. Unlike in many parts of Europe there is not a shortage of rental properties which can help explain their reasonable prices.

Finding an IT job in Belgium

There is a strong demand for IT professionals in Belgium in comparison to other business sectors. Major IT sectors in Belgium include systems integration, facilities management, and outsourcing. The jobs include the expected developer and programmer roles including SAP, Oracle, Java, C++ etc.

Some of the larger employers of IT professionals in Belgium include: CAP, Gemini, Ernst & Young, IBM, Sema and Altran.