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Who can work as a working student?

Your 'status' determines whether you can work as a working student. Below is an overview of the conditions you need to fulfil to be able to work and a list of categories of student who may NOT work. Are you a foreigner? Then your nationality, the period of employment and the number of working hours also play a role.  

Information for international students

Depending on their nationality, some international students will be required to prove their right to work to an employer and will have to adhere to certain guidelines like the period of employment and the amount of working hours. Students from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) will receive a residence permit (an electronic foreigner card type ‘A’) containing the statement stipulating their admission to work. The statement will be automatically put on the residence permit. Because student employment has to be compatible with studying  International students from countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) may only work up to 20 hours a week. The social inspectorate may check this. The permission to work is valid throughout Belgium and can be used for any paid employment in any region of the country.There is an exemption for student employment during the school holidays. Non EEA students can then work more than 20 hours a week. Students arriving in Belgium during the summer holidays (or just before it starts) with the aim of commencing studies in the new academic year may not work during this summer holiday.This is because they do not meet the legal requirement of 'having enrolled in a higher education establishment during the previous academic year'.

Non EEA-students can no longer apply for a work permit C. If you applied for a work permit C before 1 January 2020, you will still receive it. If you still have a valid work permit C, you may continue to use it until its expiry date. As soon as you renew your temporary residence permit, the new card will mention your limited access to employment (“toegang arbeid: beperkt”).

As a recognised refugee or a subsidiary protected person, you are allowed to work as an employee, even with a temporary residence permit. Admission to employment automatically results from your specific residence situation. As soon as you renew your temporary residence permit, the new card will mention your unlimited access to employment (“toegang arbeid: onbeperkt”).

EEA students and students from Switzerland are allowed to work without these formalities.