Work permits

The application and the granting of employment permits and work permits are free!

Important message to employers:

The application and the granting of employment permits and work permits are free. The service of Economic Migration and Regulation never asks employers to transfer money, neither as compensation, nor as warranty, before granting an employment permit and a work permit.

If you would receive correspondence in this way, we ask you to contact immediately the service of Economic Migration and Regulation: e-mail:


Due to a delay in the processing time of work permits, it is recommended to hand in your file 8 weeks before the desired start date.

Accessibility by telephone

Since December 11th 2017 our Provincial services Economical Migration are accessible by telephone before noon! That means from 8h30 till 12h30. In this way the provincial services can approve their work in quality and quantity, in order that appliers for work permits will obtain much sooner a decision concerning their apply.


Work Permit A

Unlimited work permit based on employments with Work Permit B

Work permit B

Presence on the basis of employment in the Flemish Region

Work Permit C

Specific residence status and corresponding employment opportunities

European Blue Card

European residence status for highly skilled workers


Foreign workers who do not need a work permit

From Federal to Flemish legislation

The sixth State reform: transfer of powers

The sixth State reform came into force on 1 July 2014. This means that a number of federal powers have been transferred to the Regions and Communities.

As regards economic migration, the regulatory powers concerning the work permits A and B, the associated exemptions and the professional cards for self-employed persons have been passed to the regions.

The federal government maintains a residual regulatory authority, in particular a specific power in the case of derivatives of the residence situation (the work permit C and the exemptions linked to the residence situation).

Flanders is therefore since 1 July 2014 authorised for both the legislation and for the application, control and enforcement of the work permits and professional permits.

More info about the legislation can be found here.

Three types of work permit

  • Work permit A: for persons in any kind of salaried employment with any employer
  • Work permit B: for persons in 1 profession in salaried employment with 1 employer who obtained an employment permit for this purpose in advance. Maximum duration specified of twelve months. Can be extended.
  • Work permit C: for persons in any kind of profession in salaried employment with any employer for a period of fixed duration. For foreigners who are authorised to stay here for other than employment reasons.

Employees of foreign nationality

Back to homepage Employees of foreign nationality