If you’re a national of a European Union (EU) country, you already have the right to work in the Belgium under the EU’s freedom of movement provisions. Once you’ve found a job, you simply register with the appropriate authorities where you’ll be living and a residence permit is automatically granted.
Non-EU nationals without automatic rights to work in Belgium will find it rather more difficult because any potential employer must seek the approval of the local labour or employment office in order to hire a non-EU foreigner.
Foreigners are found in large numbers throughout Belgium, and the numbers are probably much higher than official statistics suggest, as those working for the various international organisations (particularly those in and around Brussels) often aren’t considered as residents.
Like other European countries, Belgium has tightened the immigration laws in recent years, both to protect local citizens’ rights in a period of high unemployment and to discourage trafficking of refugees.
This article is an extract from Living and Working in in Holland, Belgium & Luxembourg from Survival Books.