Can my company obtain a Belgian work permit?

European Economic Area nationals don't require work permits to find employment in Belgium. Non-EEA nationals must have a work permit, usually applied for by their potential employer, in order to be legally entitled to work in the country. Belgium generally requires you to have a work permit or evidence that your employer has applied for one on your behalf before you can apply for a residence permit or long-stay visa.

The employer, not the migrant, files the work permit application, and before a permit is granted the employer must prove that no Belgian or European Union citizen is available to do the job.

Types of employment

There are two possible ways for the candidate to be employed with a work permit:

  • As the direct employee of a Belgian company.

  • As the employee of a foreign company that is providing services to a Belgian company. This foreign company may not be a recruitment agency and must produce a service contract as part of the application. Where this occurs, the application needs to be made in conjunction with a Belgian accountant who must administer the payrolling of the candidate to ensure that all tax and social security is duly paid.

Those who wish to be self-employed in Belgium must apply for a Professional Card. The application process can take up to a year, and the permit must be renewed annually.

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