Belgium work visa, types and processing time  

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Belgium has always been an exciting destination for international work-seekers due to its many advantages; different languages, the heart of Europe, the headquarters of NATO, and so many other factors. You just need a Belgium work visa to work legally in this amazing country.

This article provides all you should know.

Do I need a visa to work in Belgium?

The answer to the question of whether you need a work visa to work in Belgium is up to your nationality. First, you need to know that a work permit is a permission to work in the country, and a work visa is a permission to enter the country.

The EU and EEA national do not need a work visa or work permit to work in Belgium. They have the right to work in the country for the long term. The same is true with the Swiss nationals.

The non-EU national need a work permit and a work visa. They need to apply for a work permit first, and when it gets issued, they need to apply for a work visa to enter the country.

The nationals of the following countries do not have to apply for a work visa and can get into the country and apply for a work permit directly:

  • The US
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Israel

Belgium work visa types

There are three types of Belgium work visas. You need to know them and find out which one is appropriate for you to apply for according to your conditions:

Belgium work permit A

The employee needs to apply for a Work permit A on his/her own. It is valid indefinitely and without any time limits.

The one requirement is that you need to work for an employer in Belgium for four years under a work permit B type. An employee can not be outside of Belgium for one year during the past 10 years.

The nationals of the following countries need to work for three years to become eligible for a work permit A:

  • Algeria
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Kosovo
  • Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Serbia
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey

In case you have a partner or your child lives with you in Belgium, one year will be subtracted from the total number of years.

The following groups may not apply for a work permit A:

  • highly skilled workers
  • au pairs
  • trainees
  • workers who are on temporary assignment
  • guest professors and researchers
  • Technicians who are specialized
  • family members of people who hold type B permits are self-employed or who don’t need work permits.

Belgian work permit B

When you work for a particular employer and for a specific job and for a one-year period, you will get a work permit B. the duration of the employment contract doesn’t matter on this permit. But you can extend the permit as long as you meet the requirements.

The employer needs to apply for a work permit, and the employee can not do it on his/her own. The employer’s sponsorship is required.

The employee can only work in Belgium when there is no Belgium worker to fill the position.

If the job is on the shortage occupations list, the employer can hire a worker from the Eu for the long term as well.

The salary offered to the employee needs to be higher than the average salary. It is determined every year, and it must comply with the annual income.

You need to consider the following when you consider the offered salary;

  • Net salary
  • taxable end-year bonuses
  • Other benefits, bonuses, and allowances

In case it’s the first time you are being employed in Belgium, you need to take a medical test and submit it to the officials. The test can not be older than three months ago at the time of application.

The point to remember is that the employee must be residing outside of Belgium at the time of application. If he/she is inside the country, the officials are likely to reject the application.

When the officials issue the work permit B, the employee can apply for a work visa from the Belgium embassy or consulate in his/her home country. The visa is to enter the country, and the work permit is to work inside the country.

When you want to change your employer, you are going to need a new work permit. The employer needs to apply for the permit and submits a new application form. The same is true with extending the work permit, and you have to do it one month before the expiry date.

Belgian work permit C

This type of permit is for foreign nationals who are residing in Belgium for a short period of time:

  • Students
  • Family members
  • Asylum seekers

Type C work permit allows these people to work in Belgium at any job or any field. They have working rights like a Belgium citizen.

The permit is valid for one year, and you may extend it under special conditions.

Belgium work visa requirements

The list of requirements for a Belgium work visa is as follows;

Work permit 

The employer needs to apply for a work permit inside the country. When it gets issued, the employee can apply for a visa.

Passport 

It must be valid for the entire duration of stay in Belgium and over six months.

Medical certificate 

If it’s the first time that the employee works in Belgium, they need a medical certificate from authorized physicians inside their home country.

Proof of accommodation 

Makes it clear where the employee will live when getting to Belgium.

Proof to have enough funds 

Clarify how you will cover your expenses in Belgium until you arrive there and receive your salary.

Clean record certificate 

You can get it from the police in your home country, but it might need the verification of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice.

Personal documents 

  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • children Birth certificate

A copy of the employment contract;

Note; the list of requirements for a Belgium work visa is up to the visa type you apply for and the country you apply from. Also, the Belgium embassy could require further documents, and it is up to their decision.

The work permit requirements vary, and you need to contact your employer to provide him/her with whatever requirements are necessary.

Belgium work visa application process.

The way you need to apply for a Belgium work visa could be a bit different by the visa type you apply for. However, a general way to do this is as follows:

Step 1. Find a job offer from a Belgium employer

The first step to getting a Belgium work visa is to find a job offer from an employer inside the country. The following websites can help you to find a job offer inside the country:

  • Academic Jobs EU
  • BrusselsJobs
  • Eurograduate
  • Heidrick & Struggles
  • Jobat
  • Jobs in Brussels
  • Learn4good
  • LinkedIn Belgium
  • Michael Page Belgium
  • OnlySalesJob
  • Randstad
  • StepStone
  • Xpatjobs
  • Google for Jobs
  • Jobrapido
  • Monster

You can search the above websites and find a job offer. You need to work on your resume, work experience, and language fluency to get the job. It’s the key that unlocks the work visa to Belgium.

Step 2. The employer applies for a work permit

When you, as the employee, get the job and sign a contract, the employer needs to apply for a work permit. There are three types of work permits:

  • A
  • B
  • C

Each one of them has an explanation and requirement that your night is not eligible for.

You need a work permit so to apply for a work visa from your home country.

Step 3. Employee applies for a work visa

When the immigration officials indie Belgium issue the work permit, the employee can apply for a work permit at the Belgium embassy or consulate in his/her home country.

The employee needs to gather the requirements, schedule a meeting with the embassy and visit them in person.

The embassy evaluates the candidates, asks questions, and receives the payment for visa processing. In case the embassy requires further documents, the employee needs to submit and follow the instructions.

Step 4. Visa issuance and moving to Belgium

It takes some time until the embassy works on the application and issues the visa. It is likely that you will get the visa as the officials have issued the work permit already.

When the visa is ready, the embassy informs you to pick up your visa and move to the country.

When you arrive in Belgium, you need to register with the immigration officials to finalize your residency and stay.

Belgium work visa processing time

There are two processing times for a Belgium work visa. The first one is the work permit. Your employer needs to apply for a work permit, and it takes some time until the officials decide to issue it or not. The average processing time can be about one month but could be longer.

When the work permit gets issued, you need to apply for a visa at the embassy. The visa processing time could be up to a month, shorter or longer.

You would better apply as early as possible and gather a full list of documents. It shortens the processing time to a large extent.

Belgium work visa for Indians

It is essential for Indians to look for a job offer from an employer and get it before applying for a work visa. They need to sign a contract with the employer that meets the requirements. Then the employer applies for a work permit, and when it gets issued, the Indians can apply for a work visa at the Belgium embassy in India.

The Indians need to prepare all the requirements mentioned on this page, and they might have to submit further documents.

Belgium work visa cost

The cost of a Belgium work visa is 180 ٍ EUR, but you might have to pay more for the country’s you live in and the embassy services.

Also, there is the cost of a work permit that your employer needs to pay. The employer might ask you to pay the fee for a work permit to see if you are determined to move to Belgium and work in the country.

Belgium work visa requirements for US citizens

US citizens do not have to apply for a Belgium work visa. They can move to the coutnry and apply for a work permit directly. However, they need to have a job offer and find a suitable employer before doing so.

Most of the requirements mentioned on this page apply to them, and they need to prepare the supporting documents.

Can you work in Belgium as an au pair?

Foreign nationals who have not received a Belgium work permit and are 18-26 years old can apply for a Belgium au pair work visa.

They can work for a Belgium family, but the employer needs to apply for a work permit before the employee applies for a visa.

There are some eligibility principles as well that applicants need to meet;

  • Completed education or are eligible to apply for higher education
  • Language proficiency
  • Not engaged in any work permit or au pair at the same time
  • Take a language course in Belgium

The family that wants to bring the au pair to Belgium needs to be eligible as well:

  • Have a child 13 years old
  • Pay allowance to the au pair, 450 EUR
  • Provide health insurance

Does Belgium provide a working holiday visa?

Yes. Eligible nationals can apply for a working holiday visa and work and have fun at the same time:

  • Australia,
  • New Zealand,
  • Canada

Citizens need to be 18-30 years old, and they need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Have enough funds
  • Hold a return ticket
  • Have valid health insurance for one year in Belgium.
  • Clean record certificate

Can you bring your family to Belgium?

Yes, a Belgium work visa permits you to bring your family to the country, but you need to prove that you are able to support them financially. The family members need to apply for a Belgium family visa and provide the requirements to the embassy.

How long is a work visa valid for?

The validity of a work permit is often one year, but you have permission to extend it. Applicants need to hold the job offer and be working for the employer. Also, they must be residing in the country.

Begin extending the work permit one month before your permit is about to expire.

Let’s sum up…

If you want to work in Belgium, you are likely that you need a Belgium work visa.

This article explained who needs a work visa and who doesn’t, the requirements, the application process, and answered FAQs.

If you have any sorts of questions regarding a Belgium work visa, write them down in the comment section. The Visa Library team will help you right away.

You can learn about other types of Belgium visas from the left sidebar.

Visa information about other countries is available from the top menu.

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