EU nationals (+ Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland)
They do not need a work permit.
They must obtain a work permit before they enter Belgium. There are 3 different work permit: work permit B, A and C.
Work permit B
This permit is valid for one year and is restricted to employment with the employer who filed the application. Indeed, the worker may not apply himself for this permit. It's always the employer who must apply for an employment permit to the relevant Belgian authorities (Ministry of Employement). The application must be accompanied by an information sheet authenticated by the mayor of the municipality of residence. The employer must prove that no other candidates, whether Belgian or EU nationals, are currently available to fill the vacant post. Once the employment permit accepted, a type-B work permit will be issued to the worker.
Work permit A
An employee who pays social security in Belgium can apply personally for a work permit A. This is valid for an unlimited period and applies to all professions and employers in Belgium. To obtain it, you must be able to provide proof of four years’ employment on the basis of a type-B work permit within a period of ten years’ legal stay. Warning! certain jobs do not qualify for work permit A, even if covered by work permit B (e.g., employees on secondment, highly educated personnel, trainees, etc.)
Work permit C
The permit is valid a limited period of one year and for all employers and all paid jobs in Belgium. It is for foreign natives who are staying in Belgium temporarily or who are still awaiting a decision on their right to stay. They can get a work permit C and make the request themselves.
Examples of possible situations:
- the spouse or registered partner of a national of a Member State of the European Economic Area;
- the spouse or registered partner of a diplomatic or consular officer;
- the foreign student who is lawfully resident in Belgium and who is enrolled in an educational institution for a full-time education.
Exemptions from the work permit obligation
Several categories of workers are exempt from work permit.
A few examples:
- foreigners in possession of a residence permit;
- foreigners with unlimited residence status in Belgium;
- individuals employed by a Local Employment Agency;
- researchers with a doctorate who conduct fundamental scientific research as part of a grant with a Belgian university for a period of maximum 3 years.
Ministry of the Brussels-Capital Region, Direction de la Politique de l'Emploi et de l'Economie plurielle, Cellule Permis de travail, CCN, Brussels-Nord station, Rue du Progrès 80, 1035 Brussels, Phone: 02 204 13 99, Email: email@example.com