First steps upon arrival
You arrived at KU Leuven. What are the first steps you need to take upon your arrival?
(Duration: 17:01 min, watch the info movie in full-screen for the best viewing experience)
1. Your contact person/welcome when arriving at KU Leuven
Your first contact is your faculty/department. To avoid any misunderstanding, please get in touch with them at least one week before your arrival.
- PhD scholarship holders from outside the EEA can contact the International admissions and mobility unit.
- All other future staff members will (have) receive(d) an e-mail from the HR Department with more detailed information for newcomers at KU Leuven.
- Student/guests: can contact the International admissions and mobility unit
If you arrive in Leuven after working hours, during weekends or holiday periods during which the university is closed, proceed to your preliminary guesthousing/accommodation. You can get in touch with the above contacts during working hours.
2. Register as a doctoral student at the Registrar's Office
This information is only relevant for PhD scholarship holders.
PhD scholarship holders are doctoral students who have a dual status: the student status of ‘doctoral student’ and the staff status of ‘PhD scholarship holder’. Both statuses need to be applied for and registered.
- Before travelling to KU Leuven make sure you are admitted as a doctoral student and registered as a staff member (see: arrangements to make before travelling to KU Leuven)
- Once in Leuven register as a student. You can do this at the Registrar's Office KU Leuven (= 'Student Administration Office')
3. Arrange permanent housing
Make sure to arrange preliminary housing before travelling to Belgium.
After your arrival you can look for permanent accommodation:
- Private accommodation
- Immoweb, www.zimmo.be, www.hebbes.be/immo
- The University Residential Area Groot Begijnhof offers temporary housing to members of the university community (must be requested 3 months in advance!)
- KU Leuven also has 2 residences in Leuven offering accommodations that are also available to staff:
When looking for permanent accommodation, please take into account the city tax regulations.
Add your Belgian home address to KU Loket
Please add your permanent Belgian housing address to your information in KU Loket > My details.
4. Register at city hall
All staff members (and students) - even from within the EEA - need to register at the city hall of their place of residence in Belgium.
There are strict deadlines that need to be met. These deadlines are different if you are staying in Belgium or the Schengen area less than 90 days or more than 90 days.
|A stay of less than 90 days||
Note: unless you are staying in a hotel, B&B or youth hostel, as in that case they will be taking care of this administrative formality for you.
|A stay of longer than 90 days||
If you will be living in Leuven, for your registration in Belgium, your point of contact is the Foreigner's Office of the city hall in Leuven.
- Address: Professor Van Overstraetenplein 1, 3000 Leuven. It’s located next to the Leuven railway station.
- By appointment only. You can schedule your appointment online or call 016/272829 (available each work day from 9 a.m. to 12:30 noon and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
For all staff members, except for doctoral scholarship holders, you will have to take along the following documents:
- your passport (your EEA identity card is ok as well);
- 5 passport photographs (4x5 cm);
- a certificate of employment;
- a copy of your rental contract;
- all non-EEA nationals: your immigration documents (visa and/or work permit/hosting agreement)
- EEA nationals paid a salary or scholarship by KU Leuven: document "annex 19bis", issued by the HR Department.
Once you submitted all these documents, city hall will issue a document which proves that you started your registration as a resident in Belgium.
5. Register your bank account number
If you will be paid a salary or a scholarship subject to social security contributions by KU Leuven, the HR Department needs your bank account number.
- If you have a foreign bank account number in euro currency and you prefer to keep on using it, the HR Department can transfer your salary/scholarship to this account. Please verify with your bank if there are any additional charges. Send your HR adviser an e-mail with:
- IBAN and BIC code of your account
- name and address of your bank
- If you have a foreign bank account number in non-euro currency, please contact your HR adviser for more information on what to do.
- If you prefer to open a Belgian bank account, please do so as soon as possible. Go to your bank of preference and ask them to open up an account. Banks in Leuven will ask you to provide proof that you started the registration as a resident at the city hall of your place of residence in Belgium. City hall will hand you this proof after you submitted all necessary documents at their office (see above).
Add bank account number to KU Loket
Once you opened a Belgian bank account, make sure to notify the HR department. You can do this by adding your bank account number to the information in your KU Loket > My details.
6. Arrange insurances
6.1. Health insurance
The way in which you are covered for medical costs depends on your type of financing:
|You receive a salary/scholarship subject to the Belgian social security scheme by KU Leuven||
The legal contributions for health insurance are automatically deducted from your gross salary or scholarship. However, to be able to benefit of the cover, you still need to affiliate with a Belgian health insurance office.
|You are paid a salary/scholarship subject to a foreign social security scheme by KU Leuven||You will be informed by the HR Department about the formalities which you should undertake given your specific circumstances.|
|You are not paid by KU Leuven
If you are not paid by KU Leuven, you will not have Belgian health insurance cover through KU Leuven. You need to make sure you are covered for your medical costs in Belgium e.g. by a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), an insurance taken by your employer abroad, or by a private insurance.
If you do not have this cover yet, you can affiliate with a Belgian health insurance office as a Belgian resident paying a fee.
With a European Health Insurance Card (applicable within EEA, Switzerland and Australia), you will be covered by the Belgian healthcare scheme for the necessary medical care in order be able to continue your stay in Belgium. It does, however, not provide full coverage.
Also see: brochure Living in Leuven > Insurances (.pdf)
6.2. Hospital insurance
KU Leuven offers most of its salaried staff members a free hospital insurance. A hospital insurance offers additional cover for medical costs due to hospitalisation or serious illness which are only partially covered by health insurance.
- More information (e.g. who is eligible, coverage, ...) on the webpages of the Insurance Office.
Health insurance vs hospital insurance
Hospital insurance does NOT replace health insurance, so please make sure to always affiliate with a health insurance office.
6.3. Civil liability insurance (private life)
We strongly recommend you to take out a civil liability insurance for your private life. This insurance covers damage you or one of your family members registered at the same address in Belgium might cause to a third party.
- If you have a dual status (staff/student): when registering as a student at the Registrar's Office (= 'Student Administration Office') you can sign up for the university policy at 13 EUR/year
- Other staff members: all major banks and insurance companies offer the possibility to subscribe to this type of insurance.
7. Apply for maternity allowance and child benefits
- A maternity allowance is a one-time bonus paid out by the Flemish government when a child is born.
- Child benefits are the allowance that every worker receives for every child he/she has (up to the age of 18/25 (conditions) and living in Belgium or Europe). They are intended as a monthly contribution to the cost of raising the child.
|You are paid a salary/scholarship subject to the Belgian social security scheme by KU Leuven||
If you give birth to a child, you are entitled to a maternity allowance. You can request maternity allowance after 24 weeks of pregnancy onward and up to five years after the birth of your child on the condition that the child is registered in Belgium within 2 months of the date of birth.
If you have a child/children, you are entitled to child benefits. They are intended as a monthly contribution to the cost of raising the child.
Note: specific rules may apply if the other parent is entitled to family benefits abroad.
|You are paid a salary/scholarship subject to a foreign social security scheme by KU Leuven||
If you are paid a salary or scholarship subject to a foreign social security scheme by KU Leuven, you will be informed by the HR Department about the possible entitlement according to the foreign social security scheme and the specific formalities which you should undertake in this respect.
8. Check if you need additional screening
Be sure to check if you need additional screening by the HR Department.
Screening is needed if:
- you and/or your legal partner and/or your children keep on living abroad;
- you will be doing your work/research for KU Leuven (part-time or full-time) from abroad;
- you have another paid position abroad, simultaneous to your KU Leuven appointment.
Contact your HR adviser, so that our International Employment Unit can get in touch with you to screen your situation.