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Residence Permits and Identity Cards

In addition to a work permit migrants will need to apply for a Belgian residency visa in order to live and work in the country. Employers must obtain a work permit before their prospective employee enters Belgium, and before they can apply for a residency visa.

It is the employer's responsibility to mail the work permit to the employee, who then contacts the Belgium Consular Office in whose jurisdiction he/she is a resident to apply for the temporary residency visa (ASP or MVV).

Types of Belgian Residency Visas

There are 3 types of Belgian residency visas:

  • C Visa: The C Visa allows you to stay in Belgium for up to 90 days in any 180 day period. This visa is usually used for travel and tourism purposes, rather than working.

  • D Visa: The D Visa allows you to live and work in Belgium for longer than 90 days, and is the most common type of residency visa used for migrant workers. In order to apply for a D Visa you will usually need to first obtain a Belgian work permit.

  • European Blue Card: The European Blue card also allows you to live and work in Belgium for longer than 90 days, but is aimed specifically at highly skilled workers. In order to qualify for a European Blue Card you must have at least a Backelor's degree, and an employment contract with a Belgian company in a job which pays at least EUR 50,974. Please see our European Blue Card page for more details.

Registering place of residence / foreigner identity card

Non EU-nationals must register with their local commune within eight days of their arrival in Belgium, even if they are living in temporary accommodation. Within two weeks of moving to a permanent residence, an application must be submitted to obtain a foreigner identity card and to be officially registered in the foreign population register.

To apply for your identity card, whether you're an EU national or not, you and family members over the age of 21 must go to the town hall in person to register. Children under the age of 12 will be issued a 'name card', while children between the ages of 12 and 15 can apply for a child's card or an adult identity card.

Foreigner identity cards are renewable every year, and you must apply for a new card within eight days of moving to a permanent residence.

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