Working in Belgium
You must meet a number of conditions to come and work in Belgium. These conditions depend on the following three key factors:
- your nationality and country of residence;
- the length of your stay in Belgium;
- your professional status (employee or self-employed) in Belgium.
For all relevant general information, please consult the federal portal website (not available in English). We present hereafter two of the important potions
1. WORKING AS AN EMPLOYEE – THE SINGLE PERMIT
When the applicant seeks to engage in a professional activity on an employment basis (this means with a labor contract), visa application can only be performed once the application for the Single Permit has been approved.
Please refer to one of the following websites depending on the region for which you apply for your Single Permit:
Applications for a single permit have to be made by your Belgian employer at the Regional Office of Employment in Belgium for non-EU nationals or EEA nationals.
To enable your future employer to obtain a single permit, provide him with:
- Proof of having paid the Administrative fee into the Belgian bank account.
- A medical certificate by a doctor appointed by the Belgian Embassy. A blood test for syphilis and a chest x-ray for tuberculosis must be undertaken first, so that you can hand the results to the designated doctor. The medical document should be less than 6 months old on the date of your application.
- An original national Police Record from all countries you have lived in during the last year. This document has to be legalized according to this procedure. If the document is already in English or bilingual including English, you do not need to translate and legalize the document.
- Three passport photos.
Your employer will send these documents along with a photocopy of the employment contract on an approved form, to the appropriate regional office.
The processing time may take several weeks or months.
Once you have received approval for the single permit, you can submit the visa application at the embassy. You can find all information about applying for the visa on our visa page.
2. WORKING AS AN INDEPENDENT – THE PROFESIONNAL CARD
If the applicant wishes to pursue a professional activity in Belgium on a self-employed basis, the required visa can only be issued after the application for the professional card has been approved.
The application for the Professional Card can be made at the embassy. You must prepare a complete file and a short interview will also take place at the time of submission.
To compile your file, consult one of the following websites, depending on the region where you want to develop your professional activity:
For the rate for applying for a professional card at the embassy (+ any legalization costs, if applicable), see Consular Rates
The embassy forwards the file of the application with a motivated advice to the competent regional authority.
The embassy will contact the applicant as soon as a decision on the application is received. If the decision is positive, the application for a visa can then be made. Once the visa has been issued, the applicant can travel to Belgium and collect his professional card in Belgium. You can find all information about applying for the visa on our visa page.
Processing the professional card can take some time. It is therefore advisable to submit your request at least 5 months before your intended departure date.