Residence permit in Belgium


The residence permit is issued after registration in the local community upon arrival in Belgium and the granting of a work permit. A migrant worker who will stay in Belgium for less than ninety days does not require a residence permit. There are two types of residence permits in Belgium; a temporary residence permit and a permanent residence permit.

The temporary residence permit is valid for three months and can be extended for up to one year until the migrant worker receives a permanent residence permit. When applying to the local authority for a residence permit, the migrant worker must present identity documents and a work permit. A permanent residence permit is issued after five years of continuous legal residence. The permanent residence permit is valid for five years and may be renewed an unlimited number of times. For foreign citizens who have a permanent residence permit, a work permit is not required.

Family unification

Belgium has quite liberal rules regarding family reunification. A person who is not an EU citizen and is the spouse or minor child of a Belgian or EU citizen (or the parent of a Belgian citizen at any age) has the right of permanent residence and, accordingly, free access to the labor market in Belgium. Married migrants must be at least twenty-one years of age. If a migrant worker from a non-EU country stays in Belgium for more than three months, the spouse of such a person is entitled to a visa for family reunification. A relative may be refused a permanent residence permit only if he or she has been prosecuted for serious crimes or has a repeat criminal record. There are no income requirements and integration tests.

Conditions of entry and stay of students in Belgium

If you plan to study in Belgium, you need to obtain a temporary residence permit for the purpose of the study.

If you plan to study in Belgium for more than 3 months, please visit the website of the Federal Service for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation for a list of documents required to obtain a visa. For visa issues, please also contact the Belgian Embassy.

Foreign students from non-EU countries have the right to work in Belgium during their studies, provided that they officially study at the University and have the relevant documents for legal stay in Belgium.

Foreign students who study in Belgium have the right to work without special permission only during the official holidays; Christmas, Easter, summer holidays. To work in another period, you need to get a special work permit type “C”. This permission gives the right to work no more than 20 hours a week, while it is also a prerequisite that the work does not interfere with the student to fully study.

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