You are a worker
As a citizen of a country outside the European Economic Area (European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland), you can come and work in Wallonia. This right is granted to certain categories of workers. For each of these categories, there are conditions and a specific procedure.
Access to the Belgian labour market is strictly controlled and guarantees a specific regulatory framework for the foreign workers (who will enjoy the same rights as Belgian workers) but also considers the needs of the labour market in Belgium and Wallonia. These needs are regularly evaluated.
The arrival of foreign workers differs from other options for coming to Belgium such as asylum or family reunification.
Do you want to work in Wallonia?
In what circumstances?
An employer wants to hire you in their company based in Belgium
Your employer, based abroad, has asked you to provide services in Belgium as an employee
You want to come and work in Belgium as an employee
You must be authorised to stay AND to work in Belgium.
This permit is issued by the Immigration Office
This permit is issued by the Public Service of Wallonia
Is a permit always needed?
In certain cases, you don’t have to apply for a permit.
There are exceptions related to:
the work: for example a journalist or sales representative provided that their stay doesn’t last more than 90 days
the stay: for example a student or a resident from another European country.
Different kinds of permit
There are different kinds of permit that offer specific rights and which also concern different categories of workers.
►Discover the characteristics of the different permits:
Wallonia only issues work permits. It doesn’t issue any national numbers, residence permits, or orders to leave the territory. Click here for further information on these subjects.
Who should make the application and when?
In principle, except for certain categories, you should stay in your country of residence during the employment authorisation application.
If you reside abroad, once your permit has been granted:
You receive a visa through the diplomatic post to cross the borders.
Once in Belgium:
You can collect your permit from the municipal administration if it is a work permit for more than 90 days (single permit)
Your employer will collect your permit from the municipal administration if it is a permit for less than 90 days (Type B employment authorisation). Then you can obtain a visa from the diplomatic post and a stay in Belgium.
Your employer fills the permit application for you. However, as a worker, you must still complete part of the procedure. The employer provides information on the position that you will hold. You provide information on your identity. For example, your employer may ask you for a medical certificate issued by a doctor from your Country of Residence, a certificate of good conduct and other documents.
The documents requested may change depending on federal legislation. For more information, contact the Immigration Office at the time of the application.
Please note: You must use the administration's document templates for the application to be admissible.
It is possible to apply for a work permit in Belgium if:
You are already legally resident in Belgium (as a student or highly-qualified person for example)
You already have a work permit in another region (Brussels-Capital Region, Flemish Region or German-speaking Community)
The employment authorisation is issued for a worker with a given employer, a given gross salary and in a given position. Any change to one of these elements leads to a new permit application (unless you have held a European blue card or an unlimited permit).
You, as the worker, must fill the application for the unlimited work permit. The application is made in the region in which you are resident.
My rights as a foreign worker
As a worker subject to employment authorisation, you enjoy the same rights as a Belgian worker.
You are paid a statutory minimum salary linked to specific scales.
As with all infringements, failure to comply with the legislation leads to sanctions.
Infringements can range from simple negligence or errors to undeclared work and human trafficking. This aspect is monitored and controlled by officials at the Public Service of Wallonia and if necessary, the Police services. Depending on the situation, sanctions can range from a warning to fines or imprisonment, graduated depending on the infringement.