Belgium is known for having an excellent level of employee satisfaction, a rich and progressive culture, many employment opportunities, and a high quality of life. If you plan to work or start a business in Belgium, it is important to know what the most appropriate visa is to apply for and the steps you need to take to in order to get one.
Type of Belgium Business and Work Visas
Those who live in the European Union (EU), Iceland, Switzerland, Norway, and Liechtenstein, can work in Belgium without a work visa. But for foreigners from other countries, there are several types of visas available, depending on the purpose of staying in the country.
Type A – It allows you to work with any employer or paid occupation for an indefinite amount of time. Unlike other work visas, you have to apply for a Type A permit by yourself.
The following people cannot apply for this work permit: au pairs, highly skilled workers, trainees, workers given only temporary assignments, guest professors, specialized technicians, and researchers.
Type B – This permit is given to those who will work on a specific job for a certain employer only. As it needs employee sponsorship, your employer will be the one to apply for the visa on your behalf. You cannot take other jobs or positions or switch to another employer using a Type B permit.
The visa is valid for up to 12 months only, even if the contract with your employer exceeds this period. It is renewable repeatedly as long as you satisfy the requirements for the renewal.
Type C – It allows you to work for multiple employers as a temporary worker for up to a year. This type of work visa is also renewable.
European Blue Card – If you are a highly skilled worker living outside of the EU, this visa will let you work and live in Belgium for more than three months. It is not applicable if you are a seasonal worker, long-term resident, or an employee temporarily posted to Belgium from abroad.
Professional Card – If you want to work as a self-employed individual or start a business in Belgium, you must apply for a professional card. Authorities will look for this permit before you are allowed to engage in any professional activity in the country.
It also acts as a license for business purposes and not as a residency permit. If you are planning to set up a business, you must include documents related to your business proposition, experience, finances, and qualifications when you apply for the visa.
Schengen Business Visa – If you are a non-EU citizen and you have an approved Schengen Business Visa, you can conduct business in and travel to any of the 26 member countries in the Schengen Area without restrictions. It is valid for 90 days and is given if you need to establish a business, profession, or trade in the area.
While there are several types of work visas in Belgium, they all have a common list of requirements you have to comply with. You have to submit the following documents to apply for a visa:
- Completed visa application form
- Valid passport
- Two passport-sized photos, not older than three months
- Proof of accommodation in Belgium
- Bank statement or any proof that will show you are financially capable to live in the country
- Police background check
- Flight ticket information
- Cover letter stating your purpose of visit
- Proof of civil status
- Medical certificate
- Work permit or employment contract
There are additional criteria you must satisfy before you can qualify for each type of work visa in Belgium.
- Type A
- You have worked with a Type B permit for at least four years. This requirement is shortened to three years for select countries including Algeria, Montenegro, Morocco, Serbia, Tunisia, and Turkey.
- You satisfy the 10-year uninterrupted legal stay in the country.
- Type B
- You should not be in Belgium yet before applying for a Type B visa.
- You must be offered a certain salary level fit for a highly qualified professional.
- Blue Card
- Have a one-year contract with a Belgian company.
- A gross annual salary that passes the minimum standards set by the government for highly skilled workers.
- Must have a higher education qualification.
Schengen Business Visa
- You must have medical insurance with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000. It should cover you throughout the length of your stay in the country and be valid in all Schengen States.
How to Apply for a Visa
- Prepare all the documents needed.
- Fill out the application form available online at https://visaonweb.diplomatie.be/.
- Schedule your appointment.
- Wait for the visa to be delivered to your address. Alternatively, you can pick it up over the counter at the Belgian embassy in your country.
Note: Anyone who wishes to establish a business in Belgium may also have to apply for a residence permit.
INS Global in Belgium
If you are considering expanding your business to Belgium, INS Global can provide you with the resources you need to enter seamlessly. We enable you to hire and pay staff easily, with no need to go through a long and complicated incorporation process. This means that you can start your operations in Belgium, with reduced administrative challenges, allowing you to focus on driving your business towards success. Take a look at our pages on recruitment and PEO in Belgium for more information. Get in touch with us right away and let us make your global expansion easy.