First the general stuff, travel insurance and visa application for the Philippines.
in Belgium you are covered for 3 months abroad if you rely on a general but mandatory insurance. After that you need to have an other specific travel insurance. In Belgium there are not a lot of options when it comes to travel insurances, we took the allianz global assistance for a year. We booked this via an agent in our neighborhood, all in all this went smoothly. It is an extra cost yes, but not one you want to save money upon.
Visa application for the Philippines:
After doing some research we found out we could apply for a Philippine visa on the other side of Antwerp. This was very easy since it is close AND it only opens on saturday mornings after letting them know that you are coming.
You need a copy of: ID from your home country, passport, proof of outgoing journey. You also need some payslips or a transcript of your savings as proof of financial health. Last but not least you need a r(d)ecent ID picture. Not a lot off stress needed as they where very helpful with getting everything organized, our first touch of Philippine hospitality and friendliness…
Second, the specific Belgian things to arrange.
For administrative reasons and because we couldn’t stay in the apartment we had to move our address to one of our parents addresses. This was easy but we didn’t take in account that a local police officer has to check the new address which normally takes some weeks. So after one appointment in an administration center of the city («stadsloket») and a call to the officer the procedure speeded up and it was all arranged in a couple of days. Only one extra appointment was necessary to change the address on our ID’s.
International drivers license:
One appointment, one passport size picture and 17 € ‘s later and it is done.
Start of waiting time for unemployed people:
You could wait with this until you are back in Belgium but then you still have to wait an amount of time before you get your unemployment money. If you pass by the HVW (or your union if you are a member), they will arrange everything necessary to start your waiting time before leaving, bring your ‘C4’ and proof of subscription with the ‘VDAB‘.
End of general insurances:
We ended our insurance (fire and liability) since you don’t need it abroad and could save some money by not having to pay for the period abroad.
So, this is some general – boring – info on what to do before you leave, next post is really about the trip!