Work Permit A - How to apply

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)




Work permit A must be applied for by the relevant foreign worker himself. To do this he/she must submit an application file to the Economic Migration department in his/her province.

The application file

(The following is a list of the documents and forms required for submitting an application; you can download them on the form page)

  • A specific application form entitled “Application for obtaining a work permit A" ["Aanvraag tot het bekomen van een arbeidskaart A"] to be completed and signed by the employee;
  • A fully completed information sheet and a copy of the (Belgian) residence permit;
  • Copies of the pay slips of the last employment period with a work permit B (if employment is in another region: pay slips for the entire period);
  • If the employee has previously been employed in a different region with a work permit B, then a copy of this work permit B should also be appended to the file.

Important: in order to ascertain whether the worker concerned complies with all the requirements, it is necessary that the information sheet be completed properly and in full!

Administrative handling

The Department of Economic Migration in the province concerned will verify whether the file is complete and contains all the necessary documents. The Department of Economic Migration will examine the file on its merits. If they conclude that it contains sufficient elements and no additional information need be requested, a decision will be made on the request in principle within 10 working days after the receipt of the file.

If the decision is positive then Department of Economic Migration will send work permit A to the mayor of the municipality in which the employee resides. The latter will call the person concerned to come to collect his work permit A from the appropriate municipal department.

If the decision is negative then the Department of Economic Migration will send a registered letter to the person concerned in which the grounds for the decision to refuse will be explained, and the various reasons listed why the work permit A cannot be granted. The person concerned may appeal against the decision to refuse (if he legally resides 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 mail;
  • be sent within one month after service of the registered letter giving notification of the decision to refuse.

All the foregoing obligations are prescribed subject to being declared void (i.e. if one of previous obligations have not been fulfilled, the appeal will be rejected automatically, and there will be no further examination of the merits of the case).

Employees of foreign nationality

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