Foreign workers

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    In order to work in Belgium, foreign workers must have a work authorisation.

    Until 31 December 2018, this work authorisation was evidenced by a work permit. Since 1 January 2019, the single permit has been in force. Thus, the residence document now indicates whether the person concerned has a work authorisation.

    Since the Sixth State Reform, the regulation of foreign workers has been the responsibility of the Regions.

    For more information about the employment of foreign workers, you can consult the following websites of the regional administrations:

    You can also find information on the website of the Immigration Office:

    However, the Federal State retains regulatory competence with regard to the occupation of foreign nationals in a particular residence situation. These are foreigners whose main reason for coming to Belgium is not work and for whom the authorisation to work is a direct result of a particular residence situation. The Federal State determines whether or not these people can work. This information is also indicated on the residence document since 1 January 2019.

    In general, these are the following groups of people:

    • EU citizens and long-term residents
    • Applicants for international protection and recognised refugees
    • Students
    • Family members

    You will find a complete overview in the section "Employment of foreign workers with a special residence situation".

    In addition, the federal legislation on au pair work remains applicable. You will find more information in the section "Au pair work in Belgium".

    Although the Federal State is competent to legislate, the implementing measures are taken by the Regions. For more information, you can contact the regional services listed above or the Immigration Office.

    The federal and regional inspection services are competent in this matter.