Work Employment Visa In Belgium

Work Employment Visa In Belgium: Explained

Embarking on a new career journey in Belgium starts with navigating the maze of obtaining a work and employment visa. Need more assistance to get it? Worry Not! We’ve got your back!

This guide is your trusty companion, illuminating the path through the paperwork and procedures with a dash of wit, ensuring you’re not just well-informed but also entertained. Whether you’re a seasoned expat or a first-time wanderer in the bureaucratic wilderness of Belgium, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s dive in!

Is A Visa Required To Work In Belgium?

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A work permit is required if you want to work in Belgium as a foreign worker under an employment contract. This rule applies to citizens of countries other than the European Union, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

To live and work in Belgium as a non-EU or EEA national, you must apply for a work permit. To enter Belgium, you must first apply for a long-stay visa, and then once there, you must apply for a resident permit with employment benefits.

Is It Possible To Work In Belgium Without A Visa?

Citizens of the EU, EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), and Switzerland do not need a visa or work permit to work in Belgium.

Furthermore, nationals of the following countries can obtain a residence and work permit after arriving in Belgium without first applying for a visa:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Australia

Do I Need A Visa Or A Work Permit?

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A visa and a work permit are both required for any non-EU national wishing to work legally in Belgium. 

Whereas a Belgian work visa, also known as a long-stay or Type D visa, allows you to enter the country, a Belgian work permit allows you to live in the country and regulates which professional activities you can engage in and under what conditions.

To work in Belgium as a non-European, you must first find work, have your prospective Belgian employer apply for a work permit on your behalf, and then apply for a work visa

If you wish to work as a freelancer or start your firm in Belgium, you must apply for your professional card.

Non-European scientific researchers, holders of permanent residence permits, and, in most situations, family members of Belgian residency holders and EU residents are among the exclusions to obtaining a work visa and permit.

Even if you are a citizen of a country that has a visa-free Schengen agreement, you must still apply for a Belgium-type D visa and work permit if you intend to live and work in Belgium.

As a European, EEA, or Swiss national, you have the right to live and work in Belgium without the need for any visas or work permits. To reside and work in Belgium, you only need to register with your local city office and obtain a foreigner’s ID card.

Want To Work In Belgium But Aren’t Sure Where To Start? 

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With constantly changing restrictions and contradicting information available online, determining which Belgian work permit to apply for might be difficult. This guide will assist you in navigating this complex procedure.

Work Visas In Belgium

Foreign nationals in Belgium can obtain one of three types of work permits. Among these categories are:

  • Work Permit Type A: To receive this permit, the applicant must have had a Type B permit for four years during an uninterrupted ten-year stay in Belgium. Type A permissions are valid indefinitely.
  • Work permit Type B: This permission allows foreign nationals to work in positions that cannot be filled by Belgian nationals. It is valid for one year and can be renewed.
  • Work Permit Type C: This permit is provided to students and other temporary visitors. It is only valid for one year.
  • Type B work Permits: These permits are the most common, and this is the permit that those around you will most likely require. Employees will need a resident visa in addition to a work permit to remain in Belgium.
  • Work Visa Requirements in Belgium: Belgium is a member of the European Union (EU), which implies that nationals of other EU member countries can work there without a work permit. Citizens of the European Union (EU) and Switzerland are also exempt. 

Everyone else will require a permit. It is the employer’s responsibility to get a Type B work visa on behalf of foreign workers.

Employees will need to produce the following documents to receive a visa:

  • A valid passport, along with a copy of each page
  • Proof of accommodation in Belgium
  • Evidence of sufficient financial means
  • A police background check
  • A medical certificate of health
  • A work permit

What Is The Application Procedure To Obtain A Work Employment Visa?

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To live and work in Belgium, foreign employees will need a work permit as well as a visa. 

It is the employer’s responsibility to apply for the work visa, but first, they must demonstrate that there are no job-seeking Belgian nationals who are qualified to fill the position. 

After that, the application procedure can begin. The steps are as follows:

  • The employer applies for a work permit with the Belgian immigration authorities.
  • Following approval, the authorities submit the work permit to the Belgian Embassy in the potential employee’s country of residence.
  • The employee goes to the Belgian Embassy in their home country to apply for a residence visa.
  • After acquiring the visa and authorization, the employee may go to Belgium.
  • In Belgium, the employee registers their arrival with the necessary authorities and records their residence address.
  • The employee applies for an ID card.
  • The employee receives the ID card and provides their fingerprints.

After completing these stages, the employee will be able to begin working for your organization in Belgium.

Types Of Work Permits In Belgium

The following are the most common work categories and single permits issued to non-European workers in Belgium:

A Highly Qualified Employee Or Director

Because of the lower minimal standards, being a highly qualified worker is the most popular way to obtain your Belgian work or single visa (A-card).

The permit is renewable and valid for the term of your job contract, up to a maximum of three years. After 5 years of living and working lawfully with a single permit for highly qualified workers, you can apply for your single permission for an unlimited time (B-card).

Requirements For A Single Permit For Highly Qualified Workers:

Employment contract indicating at least the regional authorities’ minimum gross annual salary:

  • Brussels And Wallonia Regions: Annual gross salary of €47,174
  • Flanders: Annual gross salary of €36,787 (under 30 years old) and €45,984 (over 30 years old)

Diploma of higher or university education of at least 3 years from a recognized university.

The European Blue Card

The European Blue Card is an additional authorization for highly qualified professionals who seek to work in an EU country. The EU Blue Card is valid for at least one year and can be renewed for up to four years. Your employer will apply on your behalf.

If your Blue Card is still valid after two years of working in Belgium, you can move jobs or work for another company in Belgium without seeking permission from the authorities.

If you want to work in another EU country, you must obtain a new Blue Card. However, you can only do so after working in Belgium for 18 months with your EU Blue Card.

To Be Eligible For The European Blue Card, You Must Meet The Following Criteria:

  • A minimum yearly gross wage of €60,998 (or €55,181 in the Flemish region) is required.
  • Work contract for at least one year
  • A higher education qualification for at least three years, or proof of meeting the legal criteria of a regulated profession
  • You are not a seconded worker, a long-term resident, a researcher, a person seeking asylum, or a seasonal worker.

Employed Worker

If you are an employed worker who does not fit within one of the above categories, you can also obtain a Belgium single permit. “Other” is the name given to this category on websites run by the Belgian government.

If so, your company will have to provide evidence of their fruitless attempts to fill this position with a Belgian or EU national.

The following conditions must be satisfied for you to be qualified for a work visa as an employee:

  • Labor market test; the employer has to demonstrate that no Belgian or EU national could fill the position
  • Your monthly income will surpass Belgium’s minimum wage of €1,954.99
  • Apply from your place of origin.

Year Of Search

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Have You Recently Graduated From A University In Belgium? 

Then, with a “search year” residency permit, you can work in Belgium for a year without requiring a visa. You must locate employment during this period that will support your Belgium single permit.

You have to apply for a residence permit for a search year at least 15 days before the expiration date of your student residence permit at the Belgian municipal hall where you currently reside.

You have to fulfill the following conditions:

  • Bachelor’s, master’s, postgraduate, or doctorate from a Belgian university
  • Belgian residency permit for study purposes
  • Evidence of having enough money to support oneself for a year

Business Cards

You need to apply for a professional card (carte professionale/beroepskaart) if you want to operate as a self-employed professional in Belgium. The five-year validity of this card can be extended.

You can only work in your field of expertise with this card since you have to demonstrate that you are well-established in it and meet the requirements. Additionally, your attempt needs to benefit the area. 

This can manifest as the generation of jobs, financial gains, prudent investments, inventive nature, cultural or social significance, etc.

If you live in Belgium, you can apply for a professional card at a recognized enterprise counter or a Belgian embassy in your home country along with your D visa.

You’ll Need To Submit The Following Documents:

  • Two identity photos
  • A completed application forms
  • A valid passport 
  • A completed D visa application form
  • Evidence of your professional qualifications
  • A maximum of 20 pages for your business plan
  • Proof that the administrative charge was paid
  • A certificate of no criminal record
  • A medical clearance certificate
  • If you are applying from Belgium, a registration certificate.

Long-Term Visa For Belgium (type D)

Once your application for a Belgium work or single permit has been approved, you must visit the Belgian embassy in your home country to apply for a D-type visa.

Generally speaking, the following paperwork is required for work permit and visa applications:

Single Permit

  • Medical clearance certificate
  • Certificate of good conduct/proof of no criminal record, legalized and translated to Dutch, French, or English
  • Proof of private health insurance or commitment to join a recognized mutual insurance fund upon your arrival in Belgium
  • If required, proof of funds available for the duration of stay (employment contract or bank statements)
  • A signed employment contracts
  • Employer’s identity document

Long-Stay Visa

  • English, German, Dutch, or French signed, complete, and printed D visa application
  • The decision to grant a single permit or professional card is outlined in Annex 46. 
  • Two passport photos that are no older than three months 
  • A passport valid for more than three months with duplicates
  • Verification that the visa payments have been paid

FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Process A Work Visa For Belgium?

It could take eight to ten weeks to get a work visa. Considering that your employer must apply on your behalf, it depends on what company you will be working for.

What Is The Cost Of A Work Visa For Belgium?

It costs €180 for the work visa. All long-stay visa types are covered by this price. When you apply for a visa at the Belgian Immigration Office, your employer will pay the charge, which is per person.

How Do You Obtain A Work Permit For Residence After Entering Belgium?

You must register in the foreigner’s registry at your local town hall or administration after you arrive in Belgium. After that, you’ll need to give your fingerprints and file an application for an ID card. 

Your identity card, which serves as a residency permit, will be issued to you once you have fulfilled these requirements. Furthermore, to work in Belgium as a professional worker with the necessary qualifications, you must apply for a Belgium Blue Card.

Is My Family Allowed To Come With Me?

After you and your family have found an acceptable home, you are welcome to move with them. 

You ought to be able to demonstrate your ability to provide for them financially. Your family members need to apply at the Belgian embassy in your country for a type D family reunification visa.

How Long Is My Visa Valid For Work In Belgium?

In the majority of European countries, a work visa is valid for one year. You can, however, extend it in most of them. Your local city hall’s immigration office is where you may renew your work visa. 

Following five years of employment and residence in Belgium, you can apply for either permanent residency or a work permit type A.

With a work permit A, you can work and live in Belgium indefinitely as long as you have a job in Belgium.

Important Consideration

To sponsor a work permit for a foreign employee, the company must be established and incorporated in Belgium. 

After working for four years within 10 years in Belgium, employees may be eligible for a Type A work permit. Employees should be aware that they can apply for this permit themselves, unlike their Type B permit.

Conclusion

As you tie up the loose ends of your visa application, remember that getting your work and employment visa is your golden ticket to the rich experiences Belgium has to offer. Armed with knowledge and a sprinkle of humor from this guide, you’re now ready to embark on your Belgian adventure.

Dive into your new job with the confidence that comes from having conquered the visa process, and let Belgium unfold its wonders for you.

Dreams Unfold!

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