If you have received a letter of intent to employ from a job in Belgium, you will most likely need a work visa (Verified International Stay Approval). Acquiring one can be a complicated process involving a lot of different documents and verifications. However, the process can be made easier by having the information about getting a Belgium work visa that you need right at your fingertips.
Do I Need a Work Visa For Belgium?
Belgium is a member of the Schengen, which is a collection of countries who have joined the European Union (EU), so any resident of Union countries is allowed to work there visa-free, at least up to six months. For any period less than that, work and travel are allowed without those restrictions.
The Union covers a wide spread of countries, twenty-seven at present count, so it is certainly in your best interest to check to see if your country of residence is a member of this union. You can view a full list of these countries, and other general information that may be relevant, at this website.
What Are the Requirements To Apply For a Work Visa In Belgium?
First, you need to go here and download or print the visa application form. Next, you will need to begin collecting the following documents and information that you will need to submit with your application. More detail about each of these items can be down in the following section.
- A background check
- A work permit
- Employer job validation letter
- Two recent photographs
- A health examination
- Evidence of Financial and General Sufficiency
- A valid passport
Steps For Applying For a Work Visa In Belgium
Your employer will have to do a lot of the leg work to get the ball rolling on your work visa for Belgium. It is the responsibility of the employer to file for the work permit on your behalf, but they first have to be able to prove that there isn’t a Belgium worker available seeking a job that qualifies. If there’s not, then the process continues.
At this point, Belgium officials will forward the information to the Belgian Consulate in your country of residence. You will need to go there to apply for your permit and residence visa, if applicable.
1. Be Prepared for the pandemic
Many countries have introduced delays or visa freezes to contain the pandemic. Make sure to stay up to date with the current protocols to make sure that Belgium is presently allowing work visas and/or entrance into the country. If they are, then you are ready to begin the process of getting your work visa for Belgium.
2. Employer Validation Letter
Your employer should have already filed for your work permit, and they will provide you with an employer validation letter and No Objection letter, which essentially grants you permission to travel to the country. Information about what you will be doing in the country, your job responsibilities, and other relevant employment-related information should be on-hand as well.
3. Background Check and Fingerprinting
You will need to provide electronic fingerprints and a background check in order to receive a Certificate of Good Conduct. This document certifies that you have been deemed trustworthy to enter the country and also helps to verify your identity to the authorities and officials of Belgium in anticipation of your pending arrival in the country.
4. Recent Photographs
Two passport-sized photos are required for getting a Belgium work visa. These must be clear and free from distracting items such as glasses, hats, or other bulky clothing items. They need to be in color and feature your head for 75% of the portrait, with a plain gray background and a neutral expression on your face, which should be looking into the camera. If you aren’t certain if you have met all of the requirements, you can find more specific instructions on this page.
5. Health Certification and Travel Insurance
Schedule a visit with your designated health professional to attain a Certificate of Health, which certifies that you are healthy and able to travel into Belgium at this time without posing any health risks to yourself or anyone else. Especially in Co-Vid times, officials are going to be monitoring health closely to prevent future spreading, so make sure you have this ready to go when the time comes.
You will also need travel insurance to make sure that you will be able to cope with illnesses that may occur during your stay in Belgium. Keep this document with your Certificate of Health so you do not experience any delays in acquiring your visa.
Your passport needs to be up to date and valid through at least three months after you plan to leave Belgium. It should have a few blank pages in there for officials to stamp your Belgium work visa.
7. Other Considerations
Keep a record of all fees you pay through the course of the application process and be able to provide them upon request. Once you have collected all of your documents, you need to prepare them for submission to the consulate in your country of residence.
Be prepared for the eventuality that you may need to attend a Belgium work visa interview with officials before you turn in your application. During this interview, they will more than likely ask you questions about your job and itinerary for Belgium, checking to make sure you have verifications of the documentation including your booking tickets, insurances, Certificates of Health and Good Conduct, and some of the other materials which you have collected.
This is a great time to ask questions and discover if there is anything that you have failed to provide (hopefully that is not the case) or learn more about the process and what you will need to do upon arrival in the country.
If everything goes as planned, you will receive your visa in a few weeks and be able to make your final preparations for your trip, including finalizing your flights and accommodations. Then you are ready to go!
When you arrive in Belgium, make sure to check in with the Consolate there for further instructions.
I hope this article on how to get a work visa in Belgium was informative and insightful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!