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Work permits – Appealing a refusal or revocation

An employer and a foreign employee who legally reside in Belgium can both lodge appeals if a work permit is refused or withdrawn. They may also be represented by a lawyer.


A foreign employee who legally resides in Belgium and whose work permit is refused or revoked, and an employer whose employment permit is refused or revoked can appeal to the competent authority.

An appeal must be lodged by registered letter within a month of the date of the signed letter by which the decision of refusal or revocation is made. The appeal must be motivated and drafted in one of the three national languages.

The prescriptions from the preceding paragraphs are provided under penalty of being voided.

The king can determine the other detailed rules of the appeals procedure.

Following the provisions of the Government of Flanders Order, the minister can make a new decision relating to the application/revocation.

Upon withdrawal of an employment authorisation, a new application may be launched immediately. It will then be re-examined.

Grounds for deviation

The minister can make a motivated decision, for economic or social reasons in individual cases, to allow the following deviations:

  1. Deviation of the requirement for a higher education degree or diploma for the work permit for highly educated persons. The condition for the deviation is that professional qualifications are demonstrated on the basis of experience or education, and that the professional qualifications are scaled to level 5, in agreement with the decree of 30 April 2009 on the qualification structure. Through this deviation, it is possible for nurses with a higher professional education level 5 diploma to be accepted as highly educated persons.