Conditions for working in Flanders
Foreign nationals who come to work in Flanders must first receive permission to work. This obligation applies to everyone apart from a few well-defined categories of foreign workers.
A foreign worker who works in a shortage occupation and does not belong to one of these well-defined categories does need a work permit. They can work in Flanders if they:
- have a Belgian employer;
- perform a function that appears on the list of middle-skilled shortage occupations (in Dutch)(PDF file opens in new window).
- Middle-skilled shortage professions are classified as middle-skilled positions. This means that an employee employed in a middle-skilled shortage occupation should be paid in the minimum ‘skilled’ category according to the competent Paritair Comité.
List of middle-skilled shortage occupations
Does the occupation of the future employee appear on this list of middle-skilled shortage occupations? Then there is no need for the employer to prove that there is a structural shortage of suitable employees in the labour market.
The minister updates the list of middle-skilled shortage occupations every two years. It is based on the (mid-skilled) functions for which a shortage in the workforce was recognised at the time of update. The mid-skilled functions for which level 3 and 4 qualifications are required are based on experience or training.
Take a look at the overview and the list of shortage occupations which include the most important skills and tasks for each function.
Would the employee who performs a function on the middle-skilled shortage occupation list like to work via secondment? Or would they like to work with a foreign organisation, possibly even an organisation with a Belgian company number? Then the employee will not qualify for a so-called single permit.
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.