EEA+ nationals

EEA+ nationals do not need a work permit to be able to work in Belgium.

Non-EEA nationals

Non-EEA students who are staying in Belgium based on student status are allowed to work in Belgium on the condition that they have a valid residence permit or a temporary residence document and a BIS number mentioning the right to work. See details here

Your right to work is limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week outside the official school holiday periods. During official school holiday periods, the limitation of 20 hours does not apply and you can work more than 20 hours per week. In all cases, the work needs to be compatible with your studies.

The residence card will automatically mention the limited access to the labour market on the back of the card: ‘arbeidsmarkt beperkt’ (labour market limited).


EEA+ nationals

EEA+ nationals do not need a work permit to be able to work in Belgium.

Non-EEA nationals

Non-EEA+ nationals will normally need a single permit to work and reside in Belgium for a period more than three months.

There are some general exceptions to this rule:

  • Doctoral scholarship holders who are enrolled at the University of Antwerp as students. They are considered students for the purposes of the residence regulations.
  • Non-EEA+ nationals who have a B, C, D, L, F or F+ residence permit.
  • Non-EEA+ nationals who are staying in Belgium based on family reunification with a staff member. The right to work will be mentioned automatically on their residence card.
  • Staff members with an employment contract of less than three months are exempt from the single permit.
  • Cross-border workers will need a work permit (as they will only work and will not reside in Belgium).

If none of these exemptions are applicable, the staff member will need a single permit.

Please be aware that the single permit needs to be approved before the staff member can apply for a visa type D at the Belgian embassy!

The International Staff Office will contact the new staff member to request the necessary documents for the application of single permit and will apply for the single permit on the applicant’s behalf. 

Following documents are needed for the single permit application:

  • Coloured copy of the passport 
  • Medical certificate: needs to be completed by a doctor appointed by the Belgian embassy at your official place of residence. The certificate must not be older than six months at the time of submission of the single permit application.
  • An extract from the criminal record in English, Dutch, German or French (sworn translation if issued in another language) and legalized if required. The extract cannot be older than six months at the time of submission of the single permit application and must cover 12 months.
  • Proof of payment of the administrative fee. The exact amount and payment details can be found on the website of the Immigration Office.
  • Copy of your contract, scholarship agreement of appointment letter (signed by both parties)
  • Copy of the host agreement (signed by both parties) – only applicable for researchers

Please note that visiting staff members (who receive a grant or salary from their home university) with non-EEA nationality also need a single permit. In addition to the documents for the single permit application, they will have to submit a Limosa declaration and proof that they remain covered by the social security system of their home country.

The single permit application can take up to four and a half months (or two and a half months for researchers with a host agreement) as soon as the complete application has been submitted and will be issued for the maximum period of three years or until the end of the employment period. Once your single permit application is approved by the Economic Migration Department and the Immigration Office, a document called Annex 46 will be sent to the university and the consular post and you can apply for your visa. If you already reside in Belgium, the Annex 46 will be sent to the city or municipality where you are living.

More information about the single permit procedure and the needed documents can be found on the website of

Renewal or extension of single permit

The International Staff Office will apply for  a new single permit as soon as the new employment contract or grant has been issued and signed.

Please keep in mind that renewal applications can take several months. We recommend that supervisors start the renewal procedure with the HR Department three to four months before the end date of your current employment contract.

After your single permit is fully approved, the International Staff Office can assist you with the renewal of the residence permit. More information on this procedure can be found here.