European Blue card - Who is eligible

What types of employees are eligible for employment with a provisional employment permit?

Nationals who do not have the nationality of one of the Member States of the European Economic Area (the so-called "third-country nationals") who want to reside in Belgium to work in a highly qualified job, and who wish to obtain the specific document, the European Blue Card, for that purpose.

The prospective employee will need to have higher vocational qualifications which he must be able to prove on the basis of a diploma or certificate in accordance with the conditions stated above in Art. 15/1;

The prospective employee must be in possession of an employment contract in which a gross annual salary is provided of at least 51,882 Euro (this was 51,494 Euro in 2016), annually adjustable in accordance with Article 15/1, second paragraph of the Royal Decree of 9 June 1999.

A number of categories of third-country nationals are not eligible, either for the provisional employment permit, or for the European Blue Card.

These categories are exhaustively listed in Article 61/26, second paragraph of the law on residence of 15 December 1980.

These include:

  • Persons coming within the scope of Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1996 concerning the secondment of workers for the purpose of providing services, as long as these are provided in the territory of the Kingdom (the so-called "posted" employees);
  • Persons who have long-term resident status in accordance with Council Directive 2003/109/EC and exercise the right to stay in the Kingdom to pursue an economic activity as an employed or self-employed person there;
  • Persons permitted or authorised to stay in the Kingdom as seasonal workers;
  • Persons who submit a request for permission to stay in the Kingdom as a researcher within the meaning of Directive 2005/71/EC to carry out a research project;
  • Persons who are allowed to reside in the Kingdom on the basis of temporary protection or who have submitted a request for that purpose and who are awaiting a decision on the status of temporary protection (e.g., asylum seekers);
  • Persons against whom an expulsion order on factual or legal grounds has been suspended;


Members of the families of the holder

Members of the family of the person who is the holder of a European Blue Card

During the period of validity of the provisional employment permit, the members of the family of the worker concerned are not (yet) eligible for possible employment in Belgium.

Only after the third-country national concerned has been granted a valid European Blue Card by the Immigration Office will the spouse and children be eligible for possible employment with employment permit and work permit B. In this case, the possible approval shall not be subject to prior research into the labour market.

For that purpose, an employment permit must be requested and obtained from the relevant section of the Department of Economic Migration in accordance with the procedures provided for that purpose.

Employees of foreign nationality

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