Belgium Immigration & work visas
Belgium is one Europe’s most attractive immigration destinations. The central European state offers economic and political stability, with a relatively low tax regime supported by many exemptions. Belgium also boasts a high-class quality of life and a safe and healthy environment, with a historic and cultural heritage that is one of the most respected in the world.
There is a significant shortage of healthcare staff and IT specialists in Belgium. As a result the Belgian government looks more favorably on immigration applications for healthcare and IT professionals.
Belgium is a member of the Schengen Accord. It is important to note that the maximum allowable stay in Schengen countries is ninety days cumulatively for all member countries within any 180 day period. (For example, if a Business Visitor stays in Belgium for thirty days within six months, he or she may only spend up to sixty days total in all other Schengen countries as a Business Visitor.)
Belgium is divided into three administrative areas:
- The Walloon (French speaking) area in the south – whose capital is Namur
- The Flemish (Dutch speaking) area in the north – whose capital is Brussels
- The central Brussels area
Applications for permits are dealt with in the regional capitals, the process is slightly different in each area, but the legislation is the same.
Belgium Employers Guide
We provide a detailed guide aimed primarily at employers wishing to hire foreign workers in Belgium. If you are a worker, agent, or investor wanting to migrate to Belgium you may wish to consult the guide as well. Alternatively, feel free to contact us using the details below.
Further Information, help, and advice
ktravelhome has over 32 years of experience helping people immigrate to countries all over the World. Whether you wish to visit, work, study, or hire workers in Belgium our specialist team of immigration experts & Lawyers will help you with one to one advice, information, and representation when applying for your Belgian visa or work permit.
For more information and advice on Belgian immigration law and visa applications please contact us on email@example.com
- Belgium Residence & Citizenship for Wealthy Investors
Belgium Immigration for Investors and Entrepreneurs
Belgium is a `financial` capital of Europe with rich international presence. The country is investor friendly and most favorable for businesses in terms of taxation. Belgium does not offer `citizenship by investment` program like other countries, but `residence by investment` available for investors and business entrepreneurs.
- Belgium Advantages
Belgium is very attractive to many foreigners, gaining residency…
- European Center of International Businesses and multinational corporations.
- No limitations on minimum stay a year.
- Business friendly country.
- Apply for citizenship with just 3 years of legal residence in Belgium.
- No restrictions on dual citizenship.
- Multicultural country with English widely spoken.
- Visa free travel to many countries.
- Belgian Citizenship
For entrepreneurs, self-employed individuals, and investors, Belgium offers a relatively easy path to resident status and eventually acquiring Belgian citizenship. Belgium is the only country in Europe where you become eligible to apply for citizenship, after just 3 years of legal residence (continuous). Belgian citizenship is acquired by right after 7 years of legal residence.
- Belgium Residence Program
We offer a `Residence program in Belgium` package for foreigners and non-EU citizens to acquire residence permit in Belgium and then permanently move to Belgium with their family. Foreigners and non-EU persons can apply for residence permit under investor or business category, which usually involves in either investing in a Belgium company with an office as a director/owner of the company; you can easily qualify for the Belgian residence permit along with any family members. It usually takes 3-8 months to get the residence permit issued to investors who form their company. You will need to renew the residence permit annually for 3 years and after which you will qualify for `permanent residence permit.
- Clean Criminal Record.
- Good business and financial background.
- Good References
- Non-EU citizens need to demonstrate solid ties to Belgium. A good way to demonstrate such ties, is establishing a Belgian company with good financial backing.
- Minimum Investment
We expect our clients to invest a minimum of EUR 300,000, to cover the necessary costs and expenses, to immigrate to Belgium. We assist high net worth clients and business investors. The BVBA and SPRL are the most popular company types in Belgium. The Belgian BVBA company works just like Limited Liability Company. Taxes are actually around 30% and annual returns are filed every 12 months in accordance with Belgian regulations. With proper tax planning you can substantially minimize the tax liability.
- Fee and Charges
Fees for a Belgian residence application will vary from case by case. For a residence permit application the following minimum fees (exclusive of VAT, which may apply depending on the client’s situation) are charged (for one/main applicant):
- Main Applicant
€ 95,000 for the application to obtain a residence permit for the first year
€ 25,000 for every renewal for the second and subsequent years
€ 35,000 for a citizenship application (possible at the earliest after the third year)
- Fees for family members (spouses and children under 18 years of age), per family member:
€ 20,000 for application to obtain a residence permit for the first year
€ 10,000 for every renewal for the second and subsequent years
€ 20,000 for a citizenship application (at the earliest after the third year)
- Company Incorporation Costs
- Costs for establishing a company and directors fee : € 10,000- € 20,000 in the first year and approx. € 5,000 per year thereafter
- Office Rental Space: Available from approx. € 6,000 per year
- Costs for accounting, tax returns and company maintenance as well as private accommodation furnished apartment : approx. €1,000 per month.
The above fee includes all of the following services:
- Advice and assistance during the initial residence application
• Assistance in the search for adequate housing
• Initial pre-immigration tax advice
• Direct access to the various authorities
• Assistance with opening bank accounts in Belgium
• Liaison with all local and government authorities
• Submission of the application to the relevant government authorities
• Advice and assistance regarding local accommodation and related formalities
• Assistance with the registration in the municipality
• Advice and assistance during all renewals of the temporary residence permit
• Assistance with obtaining a permanent residence permit
• Advice and assistance with the citizenship application
• Follow-up of the citizenship application
• Assistance with the passport application
- How to Apply:
If you are interested, please complete our online application and one of our representatives will contact you. Or simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We take care of all corporate services for the Belgian company including the appointment of a company director, all issues related to taxes, citizenship, and application process including providing assistance housing accommodation to our clients.
- Visas and permits for Belgium
If you require a visa to enter Belgium, there are three types of Belgian visas allowing entrance:
The conditions for qualifying for these visas and the application processes are explained below;
- Airport transit visa for Belgium
An airport transit visa (A visa) allows you to pass through the international transit zone in Belgium (and indeed any Schengen country) while you are waiting for a connecting flight. You are not allowed to leave the airport and enter Belgium. For a list of countries whose nationals do – and don’t – need a Schengen visa, contact us email@example.com.
Applying for transit visa
If the transit is via a single airport in Belgium then you should apply for a transit visa from the Belgian embassy in your home country or contact us. If you will be transiting at two or more airports in the Schengen area then you apply at the embassy of the county where you’ll be making the first transit stop or contact us. You’ll need to complete, in French, Dutch, German or English, an application form and provide supporting documents, such as: a valid passport/national travel ID issued in the last 10 years and with at least three months left; a recent photo; documents relating to your onward journey.
You should apply no earlier than three months before your proposed journey. Check the precise requirements with the Belgian embassy in your country of residence or contact us to process the application for you.
- Short-stay Schengen visa for Belgium
A short-stay Schengen or C visa allows you to stay in the Schengen area (including Belgium) – but not work – for up to a maximum 90 days (three months) in any 180-day period. If you have a Schengen visa issued by another Schengen state you can also come and stay in Belgium, provided you have not yet exceeded the 90-day allowance in any part of the Schengen area.
Most nationals from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland will need a visa.
You can come to Belgium on this visa for:
- a holiday
- to visit family
- to take part in business conferences or other professional reasons
- for a cultural or sporting event
- For a short training or study course.
If you want to take on any paid work, including training or an internship, then you will usually need to get a work permit before you can work in Belgium (see below).
Applying for a short-stay C visa
You must apply for this visa no earlier than three months before your proposed journey through the Belgian embassy in your home country or directly to us. You will need to complete an application form in French, Dutch, German or English and be able to provide a valid passport/national travel ID issued in the last 10 years and with at least three months left to run, a recent photo and other supporting documents.
These can include:
- Documents relating to the purpose of your trip, for example, a travel/holiday itinerary, letter of invitation to stay with a relative, invitation to a business conference or fair, confirmation of attendance on a training course.
- Confirmation of accommodation in Belgium, for example, a hotel reservation or letter from a private individual with whom you’ll be staying
- Proof that you can support yourself financially during your stay (in the current year, at least EUR 95 per day in a hotel, or EUR 45 privately), for example, recent bank statements or pay slips.
- Proof that you’ll be returning to your home country, for example, evidence that you have a job back home or own property there – or a return ticket in your name
- Valid travel health insurance with minimum cover of EUR 30,000 (We provide this document).
The visa takes the form of a sticker in your passport/travel ID. When you arrive in Belgium you have three days to register your arrival at the municipal administration offices. They will give you a document specifying when you have to leave Belgium.
- Long-term D visa for Belgium
If you want to come to Belgium for longer than three months (90 days), you will have to apply for a long-stay (D) visa and residence permit based on the purpose of your stay, for example, whether you will be coming to Belgium to work, study, or join a family member, as detailed below. Since 2015, ktravelhome.com has made additional contributions and has been required to process certain long-term visa applications, on top of the usual application, handling fee (about EUR 900). Unlike the handling fee which can be paid at the time of application, any other applicable contribution must be paid beforehand and the proof of payment attached to your application – or your application won’t be accepted. Some foreigners are exempt from this fee, which ranges from EUR 900–215 depending on your age and the purpose of the stay.
European Blue Card: The European Blue card also allows you to live and work in Belgium for longer than 90 days, but is aimed specifically at highly skilled workers. In order to qualify for a European Blue Card you must have at least a Bachelor’s degree and an employment contract with a Belgian company in a job which pays at least EUR 50,974.
Working in Belgium
Before you apply for a long-term visa to come and work in Belgium, you will first need to find a job and an employer who will obtain authorization to employ you and apply for a work permit on your behalf. Some highly qualified individuals can apply for a Blue Card instead (we process your blue card in 4 days).
- Studying in Belgium
To get a long-term visa to come to Belgium to study in higher education or to spend a preparatory year of study ahead of this, you will first need to be able to prove that you:
- have a place at a recognized institution (course information, letter from the educational establishment, educational certificates);
- have sufficient funds to cover your living costs, study, healthcare and repatriation costs (EUR 617 per month for the 2015-2016 study year);
- a medical certificate;
- Proof that you don’t have a criminal record, if you’re over 21.
When you have all the requirements above, feel free to contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) us for your visa processing.
- Family reunification
As a general rule, if you’re a non-EU/EEA or Swiss national, you can get a long-term visa to accompany your spouse, registered partner or parent (if you’re a dependent family member), who has been given permission to come and live in Belgium as long as you fulfill certain conditions. You have to be able to prove your relationship, have suitable accommodation in Belgium, and there must be sufficient funds to support the family’s living and health insurance costs.
How to apply for a Belgian long-term visa
You’ll need to complete an application form for a long-stay visa in Belgium, and also supply scan copies of originals and copies of other documents, which may include:
- a valid passport/travel ID document;
- a work permit, proof of registration at an educational institution, marriage/civil partnership or birth certificates (if applicable);
- proof that you can support yourself during your stay;
- proof of accommodation;
- a medical certificate to prove that you don’t have any disease which could endanger public health;
- A certificate to show you don’t have a criminal record.
The visa takes the form of a sticker in your passport/travel ID.
Once you arrive in Belgium: Registration
Anyone who plans to stay in Belgium for more than three months will be classified as a ‘resident’. After your arrival in Belgium, you have eight working days to go to your local municipal administration office/town hall (maison communale/gemeentehuis) to be registered on the Foreigner’s Register and get your residence card.
You’ll need to take along your passport, work permit (if applicable) and passport photos. You’ll be issued with a Certificate of Registration, and either an A residence card if you are staying for a specific amount of time, or a B residence card if you are allowed to stay in Belgium indefinitely. Besides registration, you will also need to set up the necessary aspects for living in Belgium, such as a bank account, health insurance and more.
Permanent residence and Belgium citizenship
Once you have resided in Belgium for a period of five uninterrupted years and you plan to stay in Belgium long term, you may qualify for permanent residency in Belgium. Certain residents will also be able to apply for Belgian nationality if they fulfill certain conditions. Both allow you to stay in Belgium indefinitely, working or otherwise, under similar conditions as Belgian citizens.
If you hold a Blue Card from another EU-member state, and have lived elsewhere in the EU for a certain period, this time can count towards your calculation of five years.
Working in Belgium
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens can work without a work permit in Belgium. Third-country nationals, however, will typically need a work permit to engage in economic activities.
There are three types of work permit, A, B and C:
- Type-A work permits allow you to work for any employer indefinitely;
- Type-B work permits allow you to work for a specific employer for up to a year (renewable);
- Type-C work permits allow those staying in Belgium only temporarily – such as students – to work for any employer for up to a year (also renewable).
Some highly qualified workers can also apply for a European Blue Card directly through us to come to Belgium to work.
Legalization and translation of documents
You may be asked to legalize – authenticate – certain documents. This must be done in the country where they were issued (ie. your country of birth), either by being Apostilled (a legalizing stamp), or by the Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country. Documents in a foreign language other than French, Dutch or German, may need to be translated by an official translator.