The delay in implementing the single permit application for a combined work and residence permit for more than 4 years is now expected to be introduced by November 1, 2018.  Employers will be able to apply for both the work and residence authorization to the competent Region.

The new procedure would apply to non-EU nationals seeking to work and reside in Belgium for longer than 90 days.  The single permit is not applicable to EEA and Swiss nationals, as they have free movement, nor non-EU nationals seeking to work and reside in Belgium for less than 90 days.

Process of Single Permit Application

  1. The employer applies for both the work and residence permit to the competent Region;
  2. Within 15 days of the admissibility of the Region, the application is transferred to the immigration Office for processing;
  3. The application is processed in parallel by the Region and the Immigration Office;
    1. Processing time is a maximum of 4 months from the notification of the admissibility
  4. The Immigration Office will notify the employer, employee, and Embassy of the decision of the work and stay permit;
  5. The employee can collect the visa from the Embassy.


Dependents of single permit holders will have access to the labor market without having to obtain work authorization and the employment will not be tied to an employer.  Currently, dependents of applicants with temporary status need to obtain work authorization, which is tied to the employer.


The new legislation will also allow students to work for up to a maximum of 20 hours per week or full-time during school holidays.  Currently, students must obtain prior work authorization to take up employment.

Action Items

Employers are advised to consult an immigration specialist to confirm the latest requirements once the legislation is implemented.

Please note that this is general information only and not intended as advice on a specific matter. Please feel free to contact Fakhoury Global Immigration directly with questions exclusive to your situation. This news alert may have been prepared using information from Peregrine Immigration Management, which is licensed to Fakhoury Global Immigration.