Are you raising your child in Switzerland or a country belonging to the EEA?

In that case, you generally receive the Groeipakket after a review of your entitlements in your country of residence.

The countries belonging to the EEA are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Is your child staying outside the EEA or Switzerland?

In that case, you may still be entitled to the Groeipakket if:

  • you are not entitled to family benefits in the other country,
  • you or your partner are not engaging in any profitable activities there, and
  • your child is in 1 of the 7 situations listed below.

1. Your child is studying abroad.

  • In higher education: you will receive the Groeipakket for the entire education period.
  • In non-higher education: you will receive the Groeipakket for 1 school year.

Groeipakket entitlement applies without any time limitations:

  • If your child receives a domestic or foreign scholarship
  • If your child takes classes in a neighbouring country and returns to their place of residence in Flanders on a daily basis

New! 2. your child has finished school and is working as a volunteer or as an intern abroad for those 12 months.

You will receive the Groeipakket if you can present a certificate from RVA, VDAB or the voluntary organisation.

3. Your child is temporarily staying abroad.

You will receive the Groeipakket if your child does not stay abroad for more than 2 months per calendar year. This also applies to a newborn child whose mother gave birth abroad.

You will also receive the Groeipakket if your child stays abroad for up to 3 years for medical reasons concerning the child itself, the parent or the parent’s partner. In that case, you will need a medical certificate stating that a return to Belgium is impossible.

4. Your child is staying abroad during the Christmas, Easter or summer holidays.

In that case, you are also entitled to the Groeipakket.

5. Your child is staying with a seconded parent abroad.

If you are a parent who is staying abroad for a Belgian employer, you remain subject to Belgian social security and you retain the Groeipakket for your child(ren) travelling with you for up to 1 year. If you are having a new baby that year, you will also be entitled to Groeipakket for your newborn.

The 1-year limit does not apply to children of government personnel. In that case, the Groeipakket entitlement will even continue if the child receives further education abroad after the staff member has returned to Belgium.

New! 6.  your child has been abducted and taken abroad.

In that case, your Groeipakket entitlement will continue to exist until your child reaches the age of majority.

7. Your child is being raised in a country that Belgium has signed a child benefit treaty with.

These countries are: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and the former Yugoslav republics not belonging to the EU.

In that case, you will receive your Groeipakket from Belgium. Note: in that case, other amounts apply for up to 4 children.

When are you entitled to the Startbedrag for a birth and adoption abroad?

If you are staying in a country that is in the European Union, your child will receive the Startbedrag – which is what the birth premium or adoption premium are referred to as of 1 January 2019 – in the following cases:

  • You are a Flemish civil servant.
  • You are an employee in Flanders who is still employed on the day of birth.
  • You are self-employed in Flanders and you meet the following conditions:
  • You are not entitled to the Startbedrag in your country of residence, and
  • Your child is entitled from birth, and
  • Your child lives in Flanders within 2 months of the birth.

If your child is born in France or the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, a special arrangement applies, and these countries will pay the Startbedrag.

If you are living in a country that is outside the European Union, you can also receive the Startbedrag in the following cases:

  • You are a seconded employee or a government civil servant working abroad.
  • Your child lives in Flanders within 2 months of the birth.
  • Your child can’t go to Belgium for medical reasons (In that case, your entitlement will remain in place for up to 3 years).
  • You do not receive a similar premium in your country of residence, from an institution established under international law or from another partial entity.
  • The entitlement to family benefits must exist from the month of the birth or – in the event of adoption – from the moment your adopted child is staying with your family.

Request your Startbedrag

In that case, you don’t have to apply for Groeipakket anymore. You will receive it automatically after you have been granted your Startbedrag.

Request your Startbedrag

Would you like more information?

Don’t hesitate to contact us. Here you can find all our offices and their opening hours.


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