Work Permit

1. For students:
As a general rule, students are exempt from having to obtain a work permit. Those who wish to work (as student part-timers) can do so provided they have a valid residence permit in Belgium.

More information is available at the ‘Foreign students’ page of the Belgian Federal Public Service for Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue (French), the federal website ‘Student at Work’ and the UCLouvain Jobs Service.

2. For researchers and lecturers:

  • Citizens of a European Economic Area (EEA) member state*, or researchers or lecturers who come to Belgium under the terms of a hosting agreement (and thereby possess a scientific visa), do not require the single permit**.

  • Citizens of any other country are required to obtain the single permit permit before arriving in Belgium. The UCLouvain human resources department (contact: Edith Serville) is responsible for submitting applications to the relevant Belgian ministry. The procedure for obtaining a permit and the timescale may vary according to individual status and whether the individual is a Belgian resident. Residents abroad must apply for a visa at the Belgian embassy or consulate in the country of origin. The visa is granted based on – among other things – the nature of the stay and, in the case of a work stay, possessing the single permit**.

(*) Thus: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland.

(**) What is the ‘single permit’?

It is the result of the implementation of a European Union directive that aims to grant nationals of non-member countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) a work and residence permit simultaneously via a single request. Such nationals who wish to work in Belgium for more than 90 days must submit to the competent region, through their employer, a single application for a single permit to work AND reside in Belgium.

In Belgium, the Aliens Office and the region deal with the applications jointly: the Aliens Office deals with the residence permit and the region deals with the work permit.

If the work permit and the residence permit are granted, the applicant will receive a single document stating that he or she is authorised to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days in order to work.

Exemptions from this ‘single permit’ are provided based mainly on length of stay and type of job that the person will perform.

Single permits are valid for maximum one year and must be renewed each subsequent year. More information is available at the ‘Work permit’ intranet page: