Work Permit A - Legislation

Article 16 of the Royal Decree of 9 June 1999 on the implementation of the law of 30 April 1999 on the employment of foreign workers states:


Work permit A will be granted to those foreign nationals who, during a period of ten years immediately preceding the application, can prove that they have worked for four years with a Work permit B and during a legal and uninterrupted stay in the country.

This four-year period of work may be reduced to three years for the nationals of those countries with which Belgium has entered into international treaties or agreements on the employment of workers.

The period of four years of work referred to in the first paragraph and the period of three years of work referred to in the second paragraph shall be reduced by one-year respectively, if the wife or children of the foreign national are residing together with him legally.

For the application of the aforementioned paragraphs, periods of total incapacity for work as a result of an occupational disease, an accident at work or an accident on the way to or from work which occurred at a time when the person concerned was regularly employed by an employer established in Belgium, will be equated with periods of employment.

Residence shall be deemed to be continuous:

  •  if the interruption between two successive periods of residence lasts no longer than a year;
  •  if the absence is the result of the compulsory military service, on condition that the person concerned returns to Belgium within sixty days after completion of the period of military service.
  • The following do not qualify as years of employment covered by work permits which were granted:
  • to the specialist technicians referred to in Article 9, 9°;
  • to the trainees referred to in section 1 of Chapter VI;
  • to the young au-pairs referred to in section 2 of Chapter VI;
  • to employees who remain bound by an employment contract with an employer established abroad;
  • in order to work as researchers and guest professors at a university, a higher education institution or an officially recognised scientific institution;
  • in order to work as highly qualified staff as described in Article 9, 6;
  • pursuant to Article 9, 16° or 17°;
  • to those employees who are undergoing training on the basis of Article 9, first paragraph, 18° and 19°.

Employees of foreign nationality

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