You can apply to stay and work in Belgium as seasonal worker if your Belgian employer can prove that no qualified seasonal workers could be found on the labour market within a reasonable period of time. Wallonia does not apply a labour market test for seasonal workers.
You need to engage in seasonal activities in the:
- agricultural sector (in any region); or
- horticultural sector (only in Flanders and Wallonia); or
- catering sector (only in Flanders, Wallonia and the German-speaking Community).
If you fulfil the conditions, you will be issued a seasonal worker permit and a long stay visa type D.
Where and how to apply
You can introduce a request for a single permit for residence and work through your employer. The application must be submitted to the department of economic migration of the region where your employer is based: Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels Capital Region or the German-speaking Community.
To apply for a seasonal worker permit your employer needs to submit a number of documents, including proof of payment of the administrative fee (see ‘Documents required’). Your application is assessed by the competent regional authority and the federal Immigration Office.
The regional and federal authorities need to take a decision within 90 days. The processing time is reduced to 60 days if you have already been employed as a seasonal worker in Belgium in the previous 5 years and if you have respected the conditions related to this status.
If the regional authority grants an authorisation to work and the Immigration Office grants an authorisation to stay, you receive a decision to grant a single permit (annex 46) from the Immigration Office.
If one or both of the authorities fail to take a decision, you receive a certificate to grant a single permit (annex 47) from the Immigration Office.
If one or both of the authorities reject your application, you receive a decision to reject a right of residence (annex 48).
To obtain a visa D to travel to Belgium, you need to present your annex 46 or 47 and international passport and submit a visa application to the Belgian diplomatic or consular post of your place of residence.
The authorities take your fingerprints and a digital photo.
You can check the status of your visa application online by entering your reference number and the location of the diplomatic or consular post.
To apply for an authorisation to work and stay, your employer must submit:
Seasonal worker permit
After your arrival in Belgium, you need to register at the municipality of your place of residence within 8 working days.
You receive a temporary residence document (annex 49) pending the residence check to be executed by the authorities.
If the residence check is positive, the municipality issues a single permit for a limited period of time (A-card).
Duration of validity of permit
You can stay in Belgium as a seasonal worker for a period of up to 150 days in a period of 365 days.
Conditions for renewal
Your seasonal worker permit is renewable provided the maximum period of your stay does not exceed 150 days.
You need to apply for renewal to the regional authority at the latest one month before your seasonal worker permit expires.
The authorities assess if you fulfil the conditions for renewal.
Particular attention is also paid to the risk of irregular migration, EU security and your intention to leave the territory before your permit expires.
If your application for authorisation to work has been rejected by the regional authority, your employer can appeal this decision before the competent appeal body within 30 days after you received the decision. You can lodge an appeal against this decision before the Council of State within 60 days after you received the decision.
If your application for authorisation to stay has been rejected by the Immigration Office, you can appeal this decision before the Council for Alien Law Litigation (CALL) within 30 days after you received the decision.
Change of employment
The seasonal worker permit is granted for work with a specific employer. If you want to change jobs, your future employer must apply for a new permit.
If you or your employer do not respect the conditions related to your authorisation to work, your seasonal worker permit can be withdrawn.
Change of status
If your personal situation or purpose of stay changes during your legal stay in Belgium, you can apply for most other statuses.
Your family members have a right to stay in Belgium if they meet the conditions for family reunification.
You can apply for EU long-term resident status after 5 years of uninterrupted legal stay in Belgium, provided you have sufficient, regular and stable means of subsistence and health insurance.
Stays for reasons of temporary nature (for instance as seasonal worker) are not taken into account.
No information available at the moment.