If you’re interested in hiring foreign workers in Belgium, you’re not alone.

In a tight labor market, local businesses often seek to tap into the global talent pool to meet their staffing needs.

However, navigating the process of hiring foreign workers in Belgium can be challenging.

From legal requirements to administrative fees, there are lots of considerations to address.

This post will provide you with step-by-step instructions and insights to streamline the process and ensure compliance with Belgian labor laws.


Steps to Take When Hiring Foreign Workers in Belgium


Before proceeding with the employment of foreign nationals in Belgium, it is essential to confirm the unavailability of EU workers for the position.

This can be done through a labor market test. Following this, you must sign an employment contract with your prospective employee. Then, you will have to apply for a work permit on their behalf.

Once the work permit is approved, your employee can proceed to apply for a work visa.

Let’s have a closer look at each of these steps.


Step 1: Conduct a Labor Market Test


The Belgian Government allows you to hire non-EU nationals only if you cannot find any local employees.

That’s why you must first explore the local labor market for suitable candidates. To do so, you have to publish a job ad with the competent public employment service.

The public employment services in Belgium are as follows:




  • German Community: ADG


If you can’t find local employees through the public employment service, you can then hire non-EU workers.


Step 2: Apply for a Work Permit


There are two main types of work permits available in Belgium for third-country nationals.

These are the fixed-term single permit and the short-term single permit.

Before applying for any of these permits, you must ensure that your future employee receives compensation in compliance with Belgian legislation.

This means that the remuneration must not fall below the threshold of 1,954.99 €.

Now, let’s break down each category of work permit.


Fixed-Term Single Permit


The fixed-term single permit was introduced in Belgium in 2019. It combines the work and residence permit into a single permit.

This type of permit enables non-EU citizens to reside and work in Belgium for more than 90 days.

You must submit the application while the employee is still abroad. To do so, you have to use the digital counter “Working in Belgium”. The platform will automatically transfer the dossier to the competent region.

As part of the application process, you must provide the employee’s National Registration Number. If your future employee does not have a National Registration Number yet, please refer to the online service belgianIDpro for assistance.

Alternatively, an authorized representative can submit the application on behalf of the company. To do so, they must hold a valid mandate. For more information on this topic, please access the online service Mahis.

To learn more about the fixed-term single permit, you can also visit the regional websites:





If your application is complete, the competent region takes around 15 days to review it. Next, it will make a decision on its admissibility and inadmissibility.

After the initial review, there is a subsequent period of 4 months during which the competent region must make a decision on the single application. However, under certain circumstances, this period can be extended.

Upon approval of the application, the employer will receive notification regarding the decision.


Short-Term Single Permit


A short-term single permit allows non-EU foreign workers to work in Belgium for a period of up to 90 days.

It includes both the authorization to reside and the authorization to work in the country.

This type of work permit is also known as work permit B.

Typically, it is granted to the following categories of workers:


  • Au pairs


  • Researchers with a hosting agreement


  • Foreigners who are required to hold authorization to work in Belgium without the need to hold a residency permit, such as frontier workers and individuals residing in hotels


  • Workers subject to intra-company transfer


  • Some categories of apprentices


You can submit the application to the competent region using the “Working in Belgium” one-stop shop.

Typically, it takes 90 days to get an answer on an application for a short-term single permit. This period can be reduced to 60 days if the foreign employee has resided in Belgium as a seasonal worker in the past 5 years and has consistently adhered to all regulations.


Work Permit for Belgium: Supporting Documents


The documents required to apply for a work permit are as follows:

  • Proof of paid application fee


  • A copy of the worker’s valid passport or travel document


  • Proof that the worker has sufficient means of subsistence


  • Copy of work contract


  • Employer’s VAT number


  • Employee police clearance


  • Proof of adequate health insurance


  • Medical certificate


For more information about the required documents, please refer to the Immigration Office (IBZ).


Step 3: Submit a Dimona Declaration


In addition to applying for a work permit, you also have an obligation to submit a Dimona declaration.

A Dimona declaration is for employees who fall under the Belgian social security system.

You must submit a Dimona declaration every time you hire a new employee, make changes, or terminate an employee’s contract.

This document is essential to maintain compliance with employment laws when hiring foreign workers in Belgium.


Step 4: Your Future Employee Applies for a Work Visa for Belgium


Upon approval of the work permit, your future worker should proceed to apply for a work visa for Belgium.

The type of visa they must apply for depends on the type of work permit they hold:

  • Fixed-term single permit: They must apply for a type D National visa


  • Short term-single permit: They must apply for a type C Schengen Visa


It is the responsibility of the worker to complete the application form and collect the supporting documents.

For your convenience, we have created short guides to assist workers with their work visa applications.

Within these guides, you’ll discover a checklist of the required documents and information about the legal procedures.

You can access the full guides by clicking on the following links: Getting A Work Visa For Belgium: Application & Requirements and Schengen Visa Application Process And Requirements.


Hiring Foreign Workers in Belgium: Final Considerations


As a Belgian employer, you have the opportunity to access a global talent pool to solve your staff shortage.

However, it’s crucial to navigate the legal requirements and procedures with diligence and care.

From understanding the labor market test to securing work permits and visas, compliance with Belgian regulations is paramount.

This will enable you to successfully integrate foreign workers into your workforce and contribute to the continued growth of your business.

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