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    European blue card for highly-qualified foreigners

    The European blue card is a work permit as well as a residence permit for highly-qualified ‘third-country nationals’ willing to stay and work in an EU Member State. Third-country nationals are citizens who are not nationals of an EU Member State or of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. By means of the European blue card, the EU wants facilitate attracting highly-qualified ‘third-country nationals’.

    The European blue card offers the following advantages:

    • An accelerated admission procedure which also applies for certain family members
    • It is a work permit as well as a residence permit
    • It creates a less rigid set of rules for third-country nationals to return to their home country without losing their status in Belgium.

    Conditions

    The employee must:

    • have followed a higher education, resulting in at least a 3-year degree. This degree must be translated and certified.
    • have a permanent contract or a contract for at least 1 year
    • earn a gross annual wage of at least 51.494 euros (2016)
    • be able to submit valid travel documents
    • have health insurance for the periods not covered by the rights under the employment contract
    • be considered not dangerous for the public order or the national security.

    Procedure

    In order to get the European blue card, a double procedure must be followed simultaneously.

    1. The foreign nationals must submit an application
      • at the competent consular services if they are still abroad,
      • at the immigration office of their municipality if they are already in Belgium
    2. The employer who wants to employ the person in question must obtain a temporary work permit from the Department of Economic Migration which has jurisdiction for the place of employment.

    Exceptions

    A number of categories of third-country nationals are not eligible for the European blue card, such as seconded employees, researchers, persons who have a long-term resident status or seasonal workers.

    More information

    Contact

    Dienst Economische Migratie provincies Vlaams-Brabant en Limburg (Department of Economic Migration, Provinces of Flemish Brabant and Limburg)

    Diestsepoort 6 bus 62
    3000 Leuven

    Tel.: 016 66 62 10 ((only from 8.30 am to 12.30pm!)
    E-mail: 
    arbeidskaart.leuven@vlaanderen.be

    Opening hours to the public: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, from 9 am to 12 pm.

    Dienst Economische Migratie provincies Oost- en West-Vlaanderen (Department of Economic Migration, Provinces of East and West Flanders)

    Koningin Maria Hendrikaplein 70 bus 60
    9000 Ghent

    Tel.: 09 276 18 50 (only from 8.30 am to 12.30pm!)
    E-mail: 
    arbeidskaart.gent@vlaanderen.be

    Opening hours to the public: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am to 12 pm.

    Dienst Economische Migratie provincie Antwerpen (Department of Economic Migration, Province of Antwerp)

    Lange Kievitstraat 111-113 bus 21
    2018 Antwerp

    Tel.: 03 224 95 05 (only from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm!)
    E-mail: 
    arbeidskaart.antwerpen@vlaanderen.be

    Opening hours to the public: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am to 12 pm.