Salaried employees

EU nationals (+ Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, except for Croatian nationals)

They do not need a work permit.

Non-EU nationals

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.

More information:

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.)

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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:

  • Foreign nationals permitted to stay in Belgium for medical reasons (by virtue of article 9ter of the law of 15/12/1980).
  • The spouse, registered partner or the dependent children (under 18) of a diplomatic or consular official or the spouse or registered partner of the holder of a special residence permit. Only nationals of certain countries with which Belgium has signed a reciprocal agreement (such as United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Croatia, Peru and Chile)
  • Foreign students staying legally in Belgium and enrolled at an educational institution, in order to work outside of school holidays. They may work, on the basis of a type-C work permit, up to twenty hours a week outside of school holidays and provided the job is compatible with their studies

More information :

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.

More information:

General information:

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.

Counters  « Work permit » open Monday to Friday from 8.45 am to 11.45 am

Some questions? Don't hesitate to contact our helpdesk : 02/ 280 00 80