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I have been able to land a job in a company located in Belgium recently and it is worthwhile to mention, I do not reside in Europe.

During my application process, I was asked to pay for my paperwork in Belgium. Mind you, this is the money the company has to pay to their government (not sure exactly what sector) to get my work permit and not the "handling fee" that I need to pay to their embassy here in my home country. I refused to pay that amount since it sounded quite weird to me that I should be the one who has to pay for what seems to be their responsibility as the hiring company. This eventually led to them paying the amount themselves.

Now, it comes to the point that I need to tell their embassy where I will be staying upon my arrival.
Since I had no clue, I asked about it from my point of contact in that company. To my surprise, I was told that I could book a hotel or some other place and pass it on to the embassy and after a while look for a permanent place.

Unfortunately, since I was thinking these are implied rules (especially for expats), I never brought them up during my interview. There were a couple of things we discussed, like getting a bike and that having a car (which they were going to provide) is kind of more expensive there and the headaches associated with it. They also mentioned they would pay my water, electricity and internet bills.
Funnily enough, in my contract they have put that "I refrain from having a company car" but there is no reference to the bills they promised to take care of.

Maybe the next thing they ask me would be to get the plane ticket myself as well.

This seems like a good opportunity for me to get exposed to the market in Europe and to expand my skillset to hopefully land better jobs but the behavior of this company is kind of throwing me off.

Summary:

  • Company is wanting me to handle and pay for my accommodation before arrival as an expat.
  • I have worked abroad before and most things like; car, accommodation, fuel, etc... were actually handled by that company.
  • It seems the things they ask me to pay and also the clauses in my contract are very one-sided in their favor.

Questions:

  • Is this legal?
  • Is accommodation not something that they have to take care of, at least for the initial month?
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    I don't know if it helps, but if it was me I would just laugh and walk off. As you already know from your experience, companies generally pay for relocation, etc. – Fattie Jan 24 at 19:04
  • It is not easy to land jobs for us in Europe and this was done with so much effort. The only reason I am not walking of is the fact that they can be a good gateway for me to a better company. – PoJam Jan 24 at 19:06
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    @BernhardDöbler > Company cars are a huge thing here in Belgium. More than 20% of all cars registered in Belgium are company cars. Company cars are broadly given as an advantage, usually to office workers even at starting level. It's for example very hard to hire IT profiles if you don't offer that, as it's so common. – Laurent S. Jan 25 at 10:44
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    @LaurentS. - I had no idea about "company car" aspect in Belgium! Great info !! – Fattie Jan 25 at 11:56
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    @TymoteuszPaul Probably because it's normal. – DJClayworth Jan 25 at 17:27
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I am not a lawyer but I have worked in different countries in Europe. I would say that it is not illegal for them to not pay your accommodation.

There jobs that offer a relocation package that may include it, there are others that offer benefits that include cars, fuel, bills, extra holidays, courses, etc.

It is up to you to see the package, negotiate with the company, write everything down and then evaluate if it is worth the while.

In the future, focus on jobs that clearly state in their vacancy description that they offer a relocation package.

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    Don't forget it's always possible to renegotiate things. Call the company and say "I assumed the company would be paying for relocation expenses. I can't afford to. Will the company do it, or reimburse me, or give me an allowance to cover the costs?" – DJClayworth Jan 25 at 17:29
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    @DJClayworth absolutely, that's what I meant with "deal with the company", perhaps it is better that I changed it to "negotiate" – Pampa Nello Jan 25 at 17:33
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    Thank you guys. really appreciate it – PoJam Jan 26 at 15:43

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