Work authorizations for non-European employees and self-employed individuals

Last modified:

Friday 10 September 2021

Foreign workers, to be eligible to work in Belgium, must have work authorisation. This condition does not apply to nationals of a Member State in the European Economic Area (members of the EU, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) or Switzerland, or to certain categories of workers.

In practice

Different situations

To work in the Brussels-Capital region for more than three months, requests for work authorisation and residency permits are submitted in a single process. It is generally the employer who requests authorisation.

Depending on the profession of the foreign national, their situation and the duration of their stay in Belgium, the type of authorisation requested and the type of permit vary. To check whether authorisation is needed, Brussels Economy and Employment can help you : go to www.permisdetravail.brussels. Here you will find an explanation of all authorisation types and the procedures to follow.

Attention:  As a result of the Brexit, British citizens who wish to work in the Brussels Capital Region (as an employee or self-employed) after 31 December 2020, as well as the Brussels companies that employ them, must undertake certain steps. More info on the website of Brussels Economy and Employment.

Simplification

Until now, the application process had to be made through Brussels Economy and Employment, but since 1 June 2021, employers who wish to employ a foreign worker for more than 90 days in Belgium are invited to use the "Working in Belgium" application to request a single permit. The "Working in Belgium" application simplifies the procedure for employers because their file is automatically forwarded to the competent Region. In addition, employers can consult the status of their application online and quickly check the progress of their file. 
With the new ‘Working in Belgium’ digital platform, everything can be processed completely digitally, which results in a fluid experience.

At the end of the procedure, the 'single permit' is evidence of the entitlement to both reside and work in Belgium.

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