Work permit C - Application procedure

The following information, conditions and legislation were applicable for applies until December 31st, 2018 and thus is everything unusable from January 1st, 2019!
The new legislation, and the associated new conditions and documents, you can find it here: Naar werknemers buitenlandse nationaliteit (vanaf 2019)



Applications must be submitted by the employee to the Department of Economic Migration in the province (of the place of residence).

The application file must include:

  • A fully completed application form signed by the relevant foreign national, with indication of his residence status (candidate refugee, student, victim of human trafficking etc.) at the time of submission of the application.
  • A fully completed information sheet in which it is confirmed by the Mayor of the place of residence or his representative that the information listed on this information sheet corresponds with the information in the possession of the Municipality;
  • A copy of the current residence permit of the person concerned;
  • An extract from the Aliens' Register or Pending Applications Register with indication of the residence history of the person concerned. This extract must be requested by the relevant foreign national from the municipal administration of the place of residence.
  • If the reason for residence cannot yet be deduced immediately or directly in accordance with the conditions under which the work permit C may be granted, the migrant labour department will additionally ask for a certified copy of the letter by which the decision of the Minister or of the Immigration Office is communicated.

(to download page with forms)

How does the procedure continue?

The migrant labour department examines the merits of the application and checks whether the applicant complies with all the relevant conditions.

If the result of this examination is positive, the migrant labour department will draw up a work permit C.
This work permit will be sent to the mayor of the municipality where the person concerned resides. He will then be invited by the municipal authorities to come and collect the work permit C.

If the result of this examination is negative, a refusal decision will be served on the person concerned with a statement of the reasons exactly why the application is being denied.

The person concerned may appeal against this refusal decision if he resides legally in Belgium.
To be admissible, this appeal must:

  • give reasons (i.e. indicate clearly that the decision is wrong and why it is wrong);
  • be written in one of the three national languages;
  • be submitted by registered letter;
  • within one month after notification of the registered letter whereby the decision to refuse was served.

All the foregoing obligations are prescribed on penalty of nullity (i.e. if any of the foregoing obligations has not been fulfilled, the appeal will be automatically denied, and there will be no further investigation into the substance of the case).

Possibility of renewal?

Work permit C can be renewed under the same conditions and in accordance with the same procedures as those which apply in the case of a first application.

Each application for renewal must in principle be submitted at least one month before the date of expiry in the same form and using the same method as for the submission of the initial request.

Please note that a work permit is never awarded with retroactive effect.
It is therefore necessary to submit your request for a renewal in good time, so that the period of validity of the new work permit can follow on from the old work permit, so that any current employment need not be interrupted or terminated.

Work permit C "moreover loses any validity immediately and automatically as soon as the holder thereof loses his right of residence or his authorisation to stay".
So, if you are still in possession of a valid work permit C, but you have meanwhile lost your right of residence or you have failed to renew your right of residence in time, the current employment must be terminated immediately (irrespective of whether the employment is of fixed duration, indefinite duration, a special job etc.).

When the work permit C loses its validity, you must return this to the municipality of your place of residence in Belgium or to the municipal administration that issued the work permit. The municipality will return this card to the competent authority.
 If you have neglected to return your work permit, it can be recovered by the persons responsible for the supervision of compliance with these rules.

Employees of foreign nationality

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