Residence Permit

European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals can settle in Belgium without needing a Belgian residence permit. To reside in Belgium for a long period or gain permanent status, there are other types of residence statuses. These documents are available in the following links, in either French or Dutch.  Nationals outside the EEA and Switzerland can make use of different procedures, depending on their situation. Examples are the permit for self-employed workers, work permit, and the startup visa. Click this link for more info or visit the website of the FPS Foreign Affairs.


If you come from abroad and wish to settle on the territory of the City of Brussels, you must apply for a registration.

If you are a citizen of the European Union, you will immediately be registered on the waiting list. After checking your home, you will be registered in the foreigners’ register.

If you come from another country (non-EU), you must be in possession of a temporary residence permit (visa D) or apply for it. If you are in possession of a residence permit, you will be registered in the foreigners’ register after checking your home.

Please note that for certain categories of foreigners, a proof of payment of a federal tax (fee) is required. For more information:  Immigration Department.

Registration at the municipality

You must register at your commune within eight days of arriving in Belgium and apply for a residence permit (don’t forget to take along your photos). Make sure you put your name next to your bell and on your letterbox because the local police will drop by to check that you really are living where you say you are. After a couple of months, the communal administration will ask you to come to pick up your Belgian residence permit.

Coming2Belgium is a website for people wishing to settle in Belgium. This website provides information about their rights to social security.

Registration number (eID)

What is the eID?

The eID is an electronic proof of identity (with chip) with which you can carry out electronic transactions. You can use the eID for:

  • Identification at different authorities
  • Signing electronic documents
  • Securely logging into online public services

What are the eIDs?

Currently, there are 3 types of identity documents with which you can carry out the above-mentioned electronic transactions.

  • The electronic identity card for Belgian nationals over 12 years old
  • The Kids-ID, for Belgian nationals under 12 years old
  • The electronic foreigners card

Highly Skilled Migrant

Global Immigration Study 2016 –  “Belgium attracts international talent thanks to efficient migration policy for highly skilled workers”

Belgian Work Permit

From request to delivery, a Belgian work permit can be obtained in an average of 6 weeks (versus up to 15 weeks in other European countries). Belgian work permits are valid for 12 months but can easily be extended.

While you’ll mostly need a work permit to live and work in Flanders, some categories of employees – such as European Economic Area (EEA) nationals – are exempt from this general rule. In general, obtaining a Belgian work permit depends on:

  1. your nationality and country of residence;
  2. the length of your stay in Belgium;
  3. your professional status in Belgium (employee or self-employed).

Work permits for employees

Can’t wait to come work in Flanders? Note that your future local employer has to make the formal request to employ a foreign citizen and obtain a work permit for you. In other words, your work permit will be linked to a specific job at one specific employer.

In general, your future employer has to prove that it is impossible to find a suitable candidate on the local job market – unless you’re highly-educated or managerial staff, that is. In that case, you only have to:

  • fulfill the minimum salary requirement (a gross annual salary of EUR 39,824);
  • be able to present your authenticated degrees and/or certificates.

Work permits for the self-employed

Do you wish to reside in Belgium (Flanders) to carry out a lucrative independent trade or profession, and you are not a citizen of a European Union member state, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein? Then you should file for a professional card:

  • either with the Belgian diplomatic or consular post in your country of last residence;
  • or with the local authorities of your town of residence if you’re already legally residing in Belgium.