Conditions for working in Flanders

Foreign nationals who are coming to Flanders to work must first be granted permission to work. This requirement applies to everyone except for certain well-defined categories of foreign nationals.

A foreign, highly skilled worker who does not belong to one of these well-defined categories and therefore requires a work permit can work in Flanders if they meet the conditions below.

  • The highly skilled worker (see Article 17,1° of the Government of Flanders Order) has a higher education or university diploma or degree, or the equivalent, that is:
    • at least at a Bachelor’s or Master’s level of education (tertiary education level) that:
    • awarded by a higher-education institution that is recognised by the state where the institution is situated. A diploma or certificate from a private educational institution is therefore not valid.
  • The highly skilled worker has an income:
    • that is at least equivalent to the average annual gross salary in Belgium: 45.096 euro in 2022. This amount will rise to 45.984 euro in 2023.
    • that is equivalent to at least 80% of the average annual gross salary in Belgium (36.079,80 euro in 2022, rising to 36,787,20 euro in 2023) if the worker:
      • has an employment contract with an employer based in Belgium (and is therefore not a seconded employee); and
      • is not yet 30 years old, or works as a nurse.

Which work permit is required?

As an employer, you apply for permission for your future employee to work. The procedure and the documents that you need will differ depending on the duration of their appointment. Are you applying for permission for the first time? Or are you renewing a permit? This makes a difference too.

Read this page in: