Professional cards and regulated professions
Self-employed non-EU nationals who want to work in a self employed or professional capacity in Belgium must obtain a professional card, which is the equivalent of a work permit
The card, which is valid for five years and covers very specific areas of activity, is issued by the Federal Public Services for the Economy, SMEs, Self-Employment and Energy, WTC III, twenty-fifth floor, 30Boulevard Simon Bolivar, 1000 Brussels, tel.02/277.51.11.
The application is subject to investigation on three criteria:
- the right of residence
- the economical, social, or cultural interest of the activity for Belgium
- the adequate skills of the applicant to engage and exercise the activity
Processing applications for professional cards takes some time, so it is wise to introduce your request to your nearest Belgian consulate at least four months prior to your planned date of arrival, since the required visa can only be issued upon the presentation of a professional card.
Who needs a work permit?
All self-employed non-EU nationals (except nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) who want to work in a self employed or professional capacity in Belgium (photographers, graphic artists, trades people, doctors, lawyers, etc) must obtain a professional card.