Complete guide to obtaining a work visa for Belgium, requirements and FAQ
If you are looking to get a Belgium work visa, the first step is to find a job in Belgium. Since your work visa is linked to your residence status, it is favorable to be employed before you can apply for either a residence or work permit in Belgium.
Do You Need a Visa to Work in Belgium?
If you wish to work in Belgium as a foreign worker under an employment contract, you must have a work permit. This rule applies to citizens outside the EU, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.
As a non-EU or EEA national, you must apply for a work permit to live and work in Belgium. So first, you need to apply for a long-stay visa to enter Belgium, and after you arrive, you have to apply for a residence permit with work rights.
Can I Work in Belgium Without a Visa?
Citizens of the EU, EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), and Switzerland can work in Belgium without a visa or work permit. In addition, citizens of the countries listed below can get a residence and work permit after arriving in Belgium without previously applying for a visa:
- United States
- New Zealand
Working Holidays for Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada aged 18 to 30 can apply for a working holiday visa. The primary purpose of this visa is to travel, but it also allows you to work in Belgium for a year without needing a work permit. The requirements for this one-year visa are:
- You must have enough money for the trip (at least €2,500).
- You must have a return ticket.
- You must have health insurance coverage for 365 days.
- You must have a certificate from your local police proving your good conduct.
Work Permit Types
There are three types of work permits for foreign nationals in Belgium:
|Work permit type A.||To be eligible for this work permit, you must have held the type B permit for four years within a ten-year stay in Belgium. Type A permits are valid for an unlimited period.|
|Work permit type B.||For this type B permit, your employer should apply on your behalf for a particular position(that cannot be filled by a Belgian or EU national).|
|Work permit type C.||If you are a temporary visitor or an asylum seeker whose right to stay in Belgium is not permanent, and you want to work in Belgium, you will need a type C permit. It is valid for up to one year.|
Requirements for a Belgium Work Visa
The required documents for a Belgium work visa include:
- Passport. You need to obtain a valid passport.
- Work permit. Before applying for a work visa, you should be employed in Belgium. The work permit will allow you to live and work in Belgium.
- Medical certificate. You need to prove that you do not have any health issues which can endanger public health.
- Proof of accommodation. You need to prove that you will have a place to stay in Belgium.
- Proof of financial means. You need to have proof that you are financially able to live in Belgium.
- Proof that you do not hold any criminal record. You should require a statement in the police station that you are free of any criminal conviction.
How to Apply for a Work Visa in Belgium?
The application process for a Belgium work visa is as follows:
- Find a job in Belgium.
- Apply for the work permit.
- Apply for a work visa.
- Travel to Belgium.
Step 1: Find a Job in Belgium
As the first step in the process, you naturally need to have a job. You can look for work online on Belgian job portals. EURES, the European Job Mobility Portal, is a great place to start. After securing a job, your employer must provide you with a work contract in Belgium before you can apply for the work permit.
Step 2: Apply for the Work Permit
After you have been employed, you have the right to apply for a work permit. You can apply personally at the Belgium embassy or consulate in your home country, or your employer can apply for you in their local residence authority.
Step 3: Apply for a Work Visa
The work permit allows you to live and work in Belgium, but you will need a D visa to enter. You need to apply for a long-stay visa before you move to Belgium, while your employer applies for your work permit at the immigration office in Belgium.
Step 4: Travel to Belgium
Once you get the job and your long-stay visa, you can travel to Belgium and visit the local town hall to receive your work and residence permit. Then, after living in Belgium for four to five years, you will have the right to reside in Belgium permanently.
Belgium Work Visa Processing Time?
Obtaining a work visa may take 8 to 10 weeks. It depends on the company you will be working for and your employer since he needs to apply for you.
How Much Does the Belgium Work Visa Cost?
The work visa cost €180. This fee includes all types of long-stay visas. The fee is per person and it is paid by your employer when submitting your visa application at the Belgian Immigration Office.
How to Get a Residence Permit for Work After You Enter Belgium?
After you arrive in Belgium, you have to register in the foreigner’s registry at your local administration or town hall. Then, you will be required to submit an application for an ID card and provide your fingerprints. After you have completed these requirements, you will receive your identity card acting as a residence permit. Also, if you are a professional worker with the right qualifications and want to work in Belgium, you have to apply for Belgium Blue Card. The EU Belgium Blue Card is a residence permit that is issued for foreing academics, who are looking for qualified employment in
Can I Bring My Family With Me?
Yes, you can bring your family with you after finding suitable housing for yourself and your family. You should be able to prove that you are financially able to support them. Your family members must apply for a visa type D for family reunification at the Belgian embassy in your home country.
How Long Can I Work in Belgium With a Visa?
The work visa in most European countries is valid for one year. However, in most of them, you can extend it. You can renew your work visa in the Immigration Office at your local city hall. After living and working in Belgium for five years, you will be able to apply for permanent residence 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.
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