To employ a non-European national in Belgium, it is generally necessary to apply for authorisation for them to work. If the application is approved, the foreign national receives either a work permit (which is valid for a maximum of 90 days) or a permit obtained through the single permit procedure. A "single permit" certifies the right to stay and work in Belgium for a period of more than 90 days.
Whom does this concern?
- An employer in Belgium wishing to employ a non-European citizen in their company.
- An employer abroad asking one of their employees to work in Belgium.
- Foreign nationals wishing to work in Belgium as an employee.
However, in certain cases it is not required to request an employment authorisation because the foreign national is exempt from work permit. It depends on the worker's residence situation and the duration of his or her employment in Belgium.
|1) The foreign national is in a specific residence situation.He or she does not need a permit to work in Belgium.|
Who should a foreign national who is in one of those situations contact?
The foreign national who is in one of the listed residence situations (Royal Decree of 2 September 2018) has to request a residence document from his or her municipality (population and/or foreigners department). This document automatically entitles him or her to work in Belgium. The foreign national does not need to apply for an employment authorisation with the Brussels Capital Region, the Flemish Region or the Walloon Region.
This new procedure replaces amongst others the work permit C and the work permit B for the family members.
The foreign national must gather the information and documentation relating to his or her residence situation or request it from his or her municipality (population and/or foreigners department). He or she should not contact Brussels Economy and Employment. "Residence" matters are a federal competency and thus not dealt with by the Regions. Brussels Economy and Employment refrains from any examination, information or declaration regarding particular residence situations and the related work permits, if any.
|2) The foreign national comes to Belgium for a temporary employment.For a very short employment duration, the worker does not need a permit.|
The exemption is generally limited to 90 days.
(article 2 of the royal decree dated 9 June 1999 for employment in Belgium during a limited period)
|3) In all other cases,the employer must request authorisation before employing the worker in Belgium.|
Who needs to request the authorisation?
The employer or their agent needs to request an authorisation to employ a foreign national in Belgium.
In only two cases, it's only the foreign worker who needs to request an authorisation to work in Belgium.
Who should you contact?
Read the following pages and send your application to Brussels Economy and Employment if the intended work location is situated in the Brussels Capital Region. (To determine the work location: see article 7 of the Cooperation Agreement.)
Which type of authorisation should you request?
What do you need to do?
Are you in a situation for which an employment authorisation is required before employing a foreign national in Belgium?
Did you receive an employment authorisation for over a year?
Then you have to send us several documents every year. That should happen at the latest a month after the year mark of the validity start date of the employment authorisation.
The Inspection régionale de l'Emploi (regional labour inspectorate) is responsible for checking compliance with the laws and regulations governing the employment of foreign nationals.
+32 (0)2 204 13 99
Contact us by e-mail only and send your dossier by e-mail.
Our contact information
Direction de la Migration économique
Bd du Jardin Botanique, 20
E Contact form
T +32 (0)2 204 13 99
E Request an appointment (only if the issue cannot be solved by telephone or e-mail)
Federal, Flanders, Wallonia
As a reminder, every worker should be remunerated in accordance with the Belgian legislation (for instance, the competent joint committee), and this remuneration cannot be lower than 1.625,72 € (collective labour agreement no. 43 of the National Labour Council).
- Cooperation agreement on the coordination of the policies with regard to granting employment authorisations and residence permits, as well as the norms pertaining to the employment and residence of foreign workers
- Law dated 30 April 1999 on the employment of foreign workers