Young international researchers returning home due to the coronavirus pandemic


In the face of the coronavirus pandemic and its attendant mental wellbeing challenges, some international PhD candidates choose to return to their home countries to continue their research from there, via teleworking. In these cases, it is important to secure approval from your supervisor and to follow the correct procedures in order to avoid issues related to insurance coverage, tax law, and/or social security.

In most cases, if you are leaving the country for more than 3 months, you will need to report your departure abroad to the civil registry of the municipality where you are registered in Belgium (e.g. Ghent). This to avoid problems with visa or residence permit when returning to Belgium.

If you are funded through an external funding body, please contact your funder to learn more about the specific steps that apply to you. If you have questions about this matter as an externally funded PhD candidate, you can contact

If you are funded directly by Ghent University, you can read up on the necessary steps here, or contact in case you have questions.