This summary is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered an authoritative guide on how to obtain work authorization in Belgium. The intent is to give the reader a general overview of the process only. Procedures and requirements may have changed since the writing of this article. For current and detailed information regarding the topics below, as well as documentary requirements, processing times, post-arrival and departure requirements, penalties for non-compliance, allowances for accompanying family members, and any other information pertaining to your specific needs, please contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration professional.
Permitted Activities – Business visitors must generally limit their activities to the following:
• Attending business meetings or discussions
• Making sales calls to potential clients provided that the visitor represents a commercial entity outside of Belgium
• Attending seminars or “fact-finding” meetings
Type of Business Visas – The Schengen “C” visa is the typical visa issued to business travelers. Note that many nationalities benefit from a visa waiver arrangement with the Schengen area and are permitted to enter visa free for business visits of up to 90 days in any 180 day period during the visa validity.
1. Intention of a genuine visit for business and not for paid employment;
2. Valid passport;
3. Evidence that there are no restrictions on his or her traveling to Belgium;
4. No intention to permanently reside in Belgium;
5. A ticket for onward travel from Belgium;
6. Proof of funds.
Estimated Processing Times – This varies by diplomatic post and country.
Maximum Time On Visa – This visa allows business people to make a short business visit to Belgium for up to 90 cumulative days within a 180-day period. Schengen “C” visas generally cannot be extended in country.
Typical Documents Required – All travelers need to present the following documents to officers in immigration clearance:
• a valid passport or other acceptable travel document and in some cases;
• a valid visa or authority to enter Belgium;
• proof of international medical insurance evidencing coverage of at least €30,000 in addition to certain other coverages.
Basic Requirements – The principle immigration category for temporary employment in Belgium is the Work Permit Type B. This is a category for employers to sponsor qualified skilled workers to work as intra-company transferees in Belgium on a temporary basis.
Process Overview – The process for obtaining a Work Permit Type B is as follows:
1. Work Permit (Type B) Application – filed with immigration authorities in Belgium;
2. Entry “D” Visa Application – filed at the Belgian Consulate General with jurisdiction over the employee’s place of residence;
3. Registration of Arrival & Residential Address – upon entry into Belgium;
4. Finalization of ID Card Application Forms;
5. Collection of ID Cards – must be completed in person by the employee and all dependents as biometric data will be taken.
Please note that the above process assumes the registration of the Belgian sponsoring company with the Ministry of Labor. Pro-Link GLOBAL can assist with this mandatory registration if it is not in place.
Estimated Processing Time – eight to ten weeks
Validity periods – Visas are generally valid for up to twelve months.
Family Members – Dependents of Work Permit Type B holders are not granted permission to work in Belgium.