top of page

What is a single permit?

It is the residence permit required for salaried workers.


When a foreigner "outside the European Union" wants to work in Belgium as an employee for more than 90 days, his employer must submit a single application for him which will allow the said worker to obtain in a single document:

  • A work permit

  • And a residence permit.


This is why we call this residence permit the SINGLE permit.

Please note, that if the authorities get to know that the worker is in Belgium without a residence permit when the application for a single permit is submitted by his employer, the application for a single permit will automatically be refused!




This is the region in which the worker will be physically occupied.

  • If the employer has several establishments, it is the region where the employee is mainly employed that will then be competent.

  • If the main place of employment cannot be determined, the region in which the company's registered office is located is competent.

  • If the employer does not have a registered office or establishment in Belgium, it is the region where the employee carries out his activities that is competent.



In this case, once the single permit has been granted by the region, the worker must request a type D visa from the competent Belgian diplomatic post in his country of residence.

This is the country corresponding to the address mentioned for the worker in the single permit application.

Once in Belgium, the worker will then have to request the issuance of his single permit from his future municipality of residence.


If the worker has:

  • Either a declaration of arrival in Belgium (Not for all the regions);

  • Either a residence permit as a student or researcher (A or B card);

  • Or a residence permit as a former foreign student seeking employment (A or B card);


Then, the request for a single permit can mention the address in Belgium of the worker, and the latter can present himself directly to his municipality to receive his single permit.

What is the processing time for a single permit?

The processing time for such a request is a maximum of 4 months. (Unless the file is not complete or an appeal is necessary).


The work permit is issued for the duration of the employment contract, with a maximum duration of one year (3 years for certain activities or specific categories of workers (e.g. highly skilled workers).

Which workers can obtain a single permit in Belgium?

Different categories of non-EU workers can obtain a single permit.

Certain categories are FAVOURED to obtain these permits.

These include:

If applied for in 2022:

  1. Management staff: min 73,570 € (seconded: 6,130.83 € x 12; NSSO in BE: 5,285.20 € x 13.92)

  2. Workers who are eligible to apply for a Blue Card in Belgium: min. 57,019 € (seconded: 4,751.58 € x 12; NSSO in BE: 4,096.19 € x 13.92)

  3. highly qualified worker: min. 44,097 € (seconded: 3,674.75 € x 12; NSSO in BE: 3,167.89 € x 13.92)


In case of application in 2023:

  1. Management staff: min. 78,704 € (seconded: 6558.70 € x 12; NSSO in BE: 5,654.05 € x 13.92)

  2. Workers who are eligible to apply for a Blue Card in Belgium: min. 60.998 € (seconded: 5083,16 € x 12; NSSO in BE: 4.382,04 € x 13,92)

  3. The highly qualified worker: min. 47,174 € (seconded: 3,931.17 € x 12; NSSO in BE: 3,388.94 € x 13.92)


Or personnel who are part of the professions in shortage in Belgium.

To see the list of shortage professions click here.

For occupations in shortage, a thorough examination of the labour market may, in certain cases, be carried out by the competent authorities before the permit is issued.

As a reminder, the remuneration of any worker must comply with Belgian regulations (e.g. the competent parity commission) and may not be less than €1,954.99 in 2022 (CCT n° 43 of the National Labour Council). 

The Immigration Office and the Region process the application jointly, and both take a decision on the matter that concerns them.

  • The region concerned decides on the authorization to work

  • The Foreigners Office decides on the residence permit.

How can I find a job in Belgium?

Here are some useful links that will allow you to find a job in one of the 3 Regions of Belgium

What tax advantage can the single permit offer a business executive?

Are you a business executive?


You can apply for a work permit while benefiting from the “special tax regime for foreigners”.

The interested parties, who are deemed to be non-residents for tax purposes in Belgium, are only taxable on the basis of the remuneration corresponding to their services provided in Belgium, as well as on their other income from Belgian sources. Thus, any activity carried out abroad will not be taxed.


In addition, certain allowances paid by the employer to the foreign executive do not constitute taxable remuneration, but are considered as “expenses specific to the employer”.


To benefit from this advantageous tax regime, you must meet the following conditions:


  1. Have a nationality other than Belgian nationality,

  2. The person concerned must be an executive of the company. This means that the function performed is characterized by a high level of competence and responsibility,

  3. Employment in Belgium must be of a temporary nature. The temporary nature of the job must necessarily be supported by a series of precise and consistent data, relating both to the individual situation of the manager concerned and to the nature of the position performed,

  4. The employer must be part of an international group of companies:

  • Foreign controlled enterprises. This control can have various facets, including shareholding. Although this parameter is considered the most important, it is not the only element of assessment,

  • Or Companies with an international character. Belgian groups with an international character are also taken into consideration.



LEXPAT .BE facilitates your formalities to study, work, enter, recruit in Belgium

1ère ancre
2ème ancre
3ème ancre
4ème ancre
5ème ancre
6ème ancre
bottom of page