Belgium Work Visa 2024 Types, Application Process, Jobs

Belgium offers a range of work visa options for foreign nationals, accommodating various professional backgrounds and addressing skill shortages in sectors like technology, healthcare, education, and finance. This guide covers the eligibility criteria, the application process, and typical applicants, serving as a comprehensive resource for those outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland seeking employment opportunities in Belgium.

A Belgium work visa is a permit that allows foreign nationals to live and work in Belgium. This visa is necessary for those from outside the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland.

Types of Work Visas in Belgium

The following types of Belgium work visas are currently available to foreigners who want to start their careers in Belgium in 2024:

  1. Work Permit Type A: Allows indefinite work for any employer in Belgium, obtainable after holding a Type B permit for at least four years within ten years.
  2. Work Permit Type B: For employment in roles not filled by Belgians or EU citizens, valid for 12 months and extendable.
  3. Work Permit Type C: For certain overseas employees like students, valid for 12 months.
  4. European Blue Card: For highly skilled workers, allowing three months of work.
  5. Professional Card: For self-employed specialists working in Belgium for one to five years.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Non-EU/EFTA nationals must secure employment in Belgium.
  • For the Type B work permit, the offered salary must be above the average, considering net salary, bonuses, and allowances.

Who Can Apply?

  • Foreign nationals outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland.
  • Highly skilled workers, specialized technicians, professional athletes, artists, postdoctoral researchers, trainees, religious ministers, au pairs, and journalists are typical applicants.

Step-by-Step Application Process

  1. Find a Job in Belgium: Use platforms like LinkedIn Belgium, Jobat, BrusselsJobs, Eurograduate, Academic Jobs EU or Monster to secure a job offer.
  2. Work Permit Application: The employer applies for the work permit on behalf of the employee.
  3. Apply for a Type D (Long-Stay) Visa: Necessary for employment over 90 days.
  4. Travel to Belgium: On arrival, report to the local municipal office and apply for a residence card​​.

How long is it required to reside in Belgium to be eligible for naturalization?

Gaining citizenship through a work visa in Belgium is a complex process involving several steps and adherence to strict criteria. Typically, one needs to reside in Belgium for an extended period and fulfill specific legal and integration requirements.

Non-EU Nationals:

    • 5 years residency: Apply for naturalization after 5 uninterrupted years with an unlimited right of residence, showing integration (language skills, social involvement, economic participation).
    • 10 years residency: Less stringent integration requirements for naturalization after 10 years with minimal interruptions.

EU Nationals:

    • 5 years residency: Apply for permanent residency after 5 years, followed by naturalization after another 5 years of permanent residency.

Other Requirements:

    • Age: Must be at least 18 years old.
    • Criminal Record: No serious criminal record in Belgium or abroad.

What are most common skill shortages in Belgium?

Belgium faces skill shortages in several sectors, with some of the most prominent being:

    • Technical and Trades: This includes construction workers (electricians, plumbers, builders, etc.), IT professionals (software developers, cybersecurity specialists), and engineering professionals (civil, electrical, mechanical engineers).
    • Healthcare and Care: There’s a high demand for nurses (including specialized ones), doctors (GPs, specialists), and care workers (social workers, home care assistants).
    • Transport and Education: The logistics sector needs truck and bus drivers, while there’s a shortage of teachers, particularly for primary schools and STEM subjects.
    • Finance and Construction: Accountants, financial analysts, architects, and draftsmen are also in demand.

These skill shortages vary by region and sector, and current economic trends can influence the demand in sectors like tourism and hospitality. For more detailed information on Belgium’s skill shortages, you can refer to regional public employment services:

Obtaining a work visa in Belgium requires careful planning and adherence to the specific procedures set by the Belgian government. It’s crucial to understand the different types of work permits available and to secure a job before applying for a visa. With the right preparation, foreign nationals can successfully navigate the process of working legally in Belgium

Zahira Bano

(Associate Editor) Zahira holds a PhD in Cosmetics Surgery and Pharma. She worked with Mashables and some other beauty and wellness blogs. She is also a well-known personality and educationist and has a large number of social following. She also writes on the female empowerment motivational topics in her leisure time. She is also a scholarship winner and mentor for students looking for studying abroad opportunities.

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