The Economic Migration Department is presently experiencing a major influx of applications. As a result, processing currently takes nine weeks.
Please take this timing into consideration when submitting your application.

Special service ‘Working in Belgium’ – One digital office for all regions

In Belgium, all applications for a single permit with a fixed term are submitted via one special service: ‘Working in Belgium (in Dutch)(opens in new window)’.

Only submit a complete application dosser. It is not possible to email documents in later and have them added to a dossier that has already been submitted. If you receive a warning that your computer file is too large, you need to make the file small enough to be submitted electronically.

If the employee resides abroad then it is always necessary to enter a Diplomatic Representation . A Diplomatic Representation is only not applicable if the employee resides in Belgium, which will be evident from the first step of the application at the service point.

What happens once the application is submitted

After you submit the application via the online application, it will be automatically forwarded to the competent region (Flemish Region, Brussels-Capital Region, Walloon Region or the German-speaking Community).

You can follow up the status of the application via the special service. The following statuses are visible:

  • application
  • admissibility
  • decision by the Flemish government’s employment department
  • residence decision by the Immigration Office (IO)
  • final decision single permit
  • request for additional info

Since January 17, 2023, you will receive all information about your file via the digital service desk ‘Working in Belgium’.

You will be notified via your e-box upon the next status update of your file. You will receive a message regarding;

  • Information requested by the Region
  • Admissible
  • Favourable decision about work
  • Inadmissible + registered mail

Exception: in the case of an Negative decision Work, your administrator will contact you via email to explain why your appeal has been denied and you will also receive registered mail about this decision.

Possible decisions following your application

You will be notified via e-mail of:

  • the admissibility of your application
  • the decision by the employment department

You will receive the final decision from the Immigration Office (IO) via your eBox.

A negative decision will be sent to you by registered letter.

In the case of a favourable decision on both working and living the Immigration Office will communicate this decision to the employee, the employer and to the local authority or the Belgian diplomatic and consular post mentioned in the application.

If the worker resides here then the Immigration Office will issue an electronic single permit through the municipality. That permit therefore contains both permission to work and permission to stay. Only now may the employee start working.

If the employee is abroad:

Employees who have provided a foreign address in their application for employment authorisation must request a visa D (national long-stay visa) from the Belgian diplomatic or consular post competent for their place of residence.

The post will issue the visa, upon presentation of a valid passport and the decision to grant a single permit (Annex 46 or 47), provided that the decision presented by the employee is fully consistent with the decision communicated to the post by the Immigration Office.

The national B34 reference affixed to visa D means that the employee has received a single permit. The B29 reference means that the employee is a highly qualified worker (EU Blue Card).

After arriving in Belgium, the employee must apply for registration in the Aliens’ Register of the place of residence and the issuance of a single permit within eight working days. The applicant must present his or her passport, the decision granting a single permit (Annex 46 or 47), the decision granting employment authorisation and the decision granting residence authorisation.

The local authority shall issue the employee with an Annex 49 which, pending the outcome of the residence investigation, provisionally covers his stay for 45 days. The Annex 49 can be extended twice by 45 days (2 x 45 days).

If the result of the residence investigation is favourable, the local authority will issue an A-card to the employee. This residence permit contains an entry relating to access to employment (single permit).

Is the special service available for all work permits?

The special service is currently only available for the single permit with a fixed term. The requests for short-term (e.g. with a maximum of 90 days) and specific (e.g. au pair, frontier workers) authorisation via a work permit and the single permit for an indefinite term (which is requested by the employee) must therefore still be submitted via email. They will only be added to the special service in a later phase, possibly at the beginning of 2022.

For example:

  • A Flemish employer/user applies for a single permit for an American IT expert from an American company who is to be seconded to or posted in Belgium.
    • Since 31 May, applications by an employer take place via the new special service, for first applications, and for renewals, for Belgian appointments and for seconded employees.
  • An employee has already worked for four years with a Belgian employer. The employee applies for a single permit with an indefinite term so that they can work for any employer in Belgium.
    • The application is made via email. It will only be possible to apply for a single permit with an indefinite term via the special service at the beginning of 2022.
  • A host family would like to make an application for the authorisation of an au pair.
    • They apply for a work permit via email. It will only begin to be possible to apply for work permits via the special service at the beginning of 2022.

Can I apply for a so-called single permit via email?

As from 1 October 2021, all applications for a so-called single permit with a fixed term in Belgium will need to be submitted online via the special service, Working in Belgium (in Dutch)(opens in new window).

Cancelling an application

If the file has not yet been processed, and the employer wants to cancel the application, they can click the ‘cancel’ button themselves. The Economic Migration Service will process this demand for cancellation.

If the file has already been processed, the cancel button will no longer be available and the employer will have to notify us via e-mail that he or she would like to cancel the application.

Frequently asked questions

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