A non-EU national who wish to work as an employee, must apply for a  work permit (for work and stay in Belgium for less than 90 days) or a single permit (combined work and residence) permit (for work and stay in Belgium for less than 90 days), except for the special residency situations.

As the choice of the best applicable permit and procedure depends on each situation, please first consult the wizard of the Regional Ministry of Employment or contact our Expat Welcome Desk for advice.

If you do not yet hold a residence permit, you would need to lodge your application from your home country.

What is the single permit ?

It is an electronic card for non-EU nationals giving authorisation to both work and reside in Belgium. The administrative process has thus been simplified into one single request, for stays longer than 3 months (90 days).

Who is concerned ?

  • Employers in Belgium who wish to hire a non-European national for their company.
  • Employers based abroad who ask one of their employees to undertake work in Belgium.
  • Foreign nationals who wish to take up salaried work in Belgium.

Who is exempted ?

Certain persons are entitled to work in Belgium without an employment authorization, due to their residence status or due to the duration of their employment in Belgium (see point 2 : “The foreign national comes to Belgium for a temporary employment.  For a very short employment duration the worker does not need a permit.”)

Which work authorisation should you request ?

Given the great diversity of the job market, we suggest you to use the following website to determine which authorisations are required for your employment or whether you fall into a category which is exempted from a work permit.

For more information:

Where to make your request ?

If the place of work is situated in the Brussels-Capital Region, the application for a work and residence permit should be made to Brussels Economy and Employment.

Who should make the application ?

The employer or their representative should request authorisation to employ a foreign national in Belgium. The application is filled through the online platform “Working in Belgium”.

In addition to the application form, a number of supporting documents are required such as medical certificate, employment contract, relevant education certificate, criminal record clearance, proof of payment of national entry fee to the Immigration Office, and copy of passport.

In reality, the employer must submit  the application but the employee himself may assemble the supporting material.

What is the approval procedure ?

  • Once the application has been submitted, Brussels Economy and Employment checks that all the conditions relating to employment have been met.
  • If the application is acceptable, it is then passed to the Immigration Office where the conditions relating to the applicant’s residence are examined.
  • If everything is approved, the Immigration Office informs the employee and the employer, and issues a single permit.
  • If the applicant is already in Belgium, he or she may collect the single permit in the commune where he or she lives. If the applicant is in his  home country, they should request a D visa from the Belgian Embassy where the singe permit approval will be sent.
  • The procedure can takes up to 4 months.

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