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Work permits – European Blue Card

Under certain conditions, highly qualified foreign nationals can work in Flanders for more than 90 days. In these cases, their future employer needs to apply for a European Blue Card for them. 

Foreign nationals who come to work in Flanders must first apply for permission to work. This obligation applies to everyone apart from a few well-defined categories of foreign workers.

With a European Blue Card, a foreign employee who does not belong to one of the well-defined categories and who therefore needs a work permit, can work and stay in Belgium for more than 90 days. The regulation is the transposition of the European Directive 2009/50 of 25 May 2009 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment.

As an employer, you need to apply for a so-called single permit for a fixed term for your future employee. You collect the required documents as well as the following specific documents:

  • Employee qualification (diploma)
    • issued by a state authority
    • that shows that the employee completed an upper-level studies post-secondary programme:
      • Before that, he or she attended classes in an educational institute recognised as a higher education institution by the state where it is located.
      • His or her studies for that qualification took at least three years.
  • Employment contract
    • stating gross annual earnings of at least €52,229.00 in 2021 (€54,115.00 in 2022).
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