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Professional card for foreign self-employed persons: new procedure from 1 January 2022

News article
17 december 2021

The Flemish Parliament Decree of 15 October 2021 on the performance of self-employed professional activities by foreign nationals has been published in the Belgian Official Journal (in Dutch)(opens in new window). The decree comes into force on 1 January 2022. This means that, from that date onwards, admission conditions apply. New professional cards must be applied for digitally as of 1 February 2022.

The changes will be described in detail on our website in early January next year. These are the main points:

  1. Admission requirements
    With the introduction of admission requirements, proposals from a high-tech company will be assessed differently than proposals from a sport coach. These admission requirements will enable the Department of Work and Social Economy (WSE) to determine whether the proposal delivers innovative, economic, sporting, artistic or cultural added value for Flanders.
  2. Administrative simplification
    For each category of business, an overview is provided of all evidences that are required to submit the application correctly. If desired, you can ask a mandatory to apply for your professional card. You will receive a final decision within 120 days. If the decision is positive you can, on payment, consult your professional card digitally or download it.
  3. Updated appeal procedure
    You can lodge an appeal against a negative decision. In that case, experts in various policy areas will be consulted for an opinion on the file. They assess the potential added value of the proposal for Flanders in the areas of economy, innovation, sport and culture.
  4. New applications via the WSE counter
    Foreign nationals who are legally residing in Belgium can submit as of the 1st of February 2022 their application for a new professional card via the WSE counter. This means that you are no longer required to apply for a professional card via an embassy or a business counter. From 1 January 2022 until 1 February 2022 there is a temporary procedure for these applications (tijdelijke procedure, dutch only).
    Those who are still abroad or want to renew an existing professional card should, for the time being, follow the current procedure, pending the further roll-out of the WSE counter.

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