You can exercise a self-employed activity in Belgium if you comply with the regulatory obligations and if you can demonstrate the importance of your activity for the region in terms of economic value (for instance job creation, useful investments, innovative character, social or cultural value, etc.).
If you fulfil the conditions, you will be issued a long stay visa type D, a professional card and a residence permit.
Certain categories of foreign nationals are exempted from the requirement to hold a professional card.
Where and how to apply
You can introduce a request for a single permit for residence and work through your organisation. The application must be submitted to the department of economic migration of the region where your organisation is based.
To apply for a single permit your organisation needs to submit a number of documents, including proof of payment of the administrative feeSearch for available translations of the preceding link (see ‘ Documents required’). Your application is assessed by the competent regional authority and the federal Immigration Office.
The regional and federal authorities need to take a decision within 90 days.
If the regional authority grants an authorisation to work and the Immigration Office grants an authorisation to stay, you receive a decision granting you a single permit (annex 46) from the Immigration Office.
If one or both of the authorities fail to take a decision, you receive a certificate granting you a single permit (annex 47) from the Immigration Office.
If one or both of the authorities reject your application, you receive a decision rejecting your right of residence (annex 48).
To obtain a D visa to travel to Belgium, you need to present your annex 46 or 47 and international passport and submit a visa applicationSearch for available translations of the preceding link to the Belgian diplomatic or consular postSearch for available translations of the preceding link of your place of residence.
The authorities take your fingerprints and a digital photo.
You receive a visa mentioning code D.
To apply for an authorisation to work and stay, your organisation must submit:
After your arrival in Belgium, you need to register at the municipality of your place of residence within 8 working days.
You receive a temporary residence document (annex 49) pending the residence check to be executed by the authorities.
If the residence check is positive, the municipality issues a single permit for a limited period of time (A-card).
Duration of validity of permits/visas
The single permit for volunteers is valid for a period of up to 12 months.
Conditions for renewal
Your volunteer permit is renewable provided the maximum period of your stay does not exceed 12 months.
You need to apply for renewal to the regional authority at the latest 2 months before your volunteer permit expires.
If your application for an authorisation to work has been rejected by the regional authority, your organisation can appeal this decision before the competent appeal body within 30 days after you received the decision. You can lodge an appeal against this decision before the Council of State within 60 days after you received the decision.
If your application for an authorisation to stay has been rejected by the Immigration Office, you can appeal this decision before the Council for Alien Law Litigation (CALL) within 30 days after you received the decision.
nge of status
If your personal situation or purpose of stay changes during your legal stay in Belgium, you can apply for most other statuses.
Your family members have a right to stay in Belgium if they meet the conditions for family reunificationSearch for available translations of the preceding link.
You can apply for EU long-term resident status after 5 years of uninterrupted legal stay in Belgium, provided you have sufficient, regular and stable means of subsistence and health insurance.
Stays for reasons of temporary nature are not taken into account.
No information available at the moment.
- Coming to work in Belgium
- Economic Migration Flanders
- Economic Migration Wallonia
- Economic Migration Brussels Capital Region
- Economic Migration German-speaking Community
- Immigration Office
- Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs
- Diplomatic Missions Abroad
- Council for Alien Law Litigation
- Council of State
- Diplomatic Missions Abroad