(Provisional residence authorisation: 3 months and more)
The professional cardAuthorisation to stay for more than 3 months in BelgiumWhere to lodge your application for leave to remainFamily membersUseful texts
Workers who are European Union nationals should refer to the ad hoc section (to come)
The professional card
> As a general rule, foreign workers wishing to pursue a self-employed activity in Belgium must be in possession of a professional card, in other words the authorisation of the Federal Public Service Economy, SMEs, Self-Employed and Energy (SPF Economy) to pursue self-employed activities in Belgium.
‘Self-employed activity’ means activity which is not subject to the regulation on the employment of foreign workers. To find out more, click here Employees.
> The application for a professional card is made to the Belgian consulate competent for the worker’s place of stay or residence abroad, which passes it on to the SPF Economy.
Where the authorisation to pursue a self-employed activity in Belgium is granted, the consulate and the worker are notified by the SPF Economy.
After receiving the decision from the SPF Economy, the worker must return to the consulate to lodge an application for a provisional residence permit (D visa).
Once in Belgium, he goes to collect his professional card from the enterprise counter given on the application form for a professional card.
RECOMMENDATIONConsult the website for any information on the professional card (arrangements for applying for the professional card, exemptions from the obligation to hold a professional card, etc.).
Authorisation to stay for more than 3 months in Belgium
If you wish to stay for more than 3 months in Belgium, you must first receive authorisation from the minister competent for entry, stay, settlement and removal of foreign nationals, or his delegate (Aliens Office).
Where to lodge your application for leave to remain
A. If you are abroadClick here to find out more about the procedure to follow
B. If you are in BelgiumClick here to find out more about the procedure to follow
To find out more about the procedure to follow, the conditions to satisfy and the supporting documents to provide, refer to the section ‘ACCOMPANYING or JOINING’.
• Law of 19 February 1965 on the pursuit by foreign nationals of self-employed professional activities.• Law of 2 February 2001 modifying the law of 19 February 1965 on the pursuit by foreign nationals of self-employed professional activities.• Royal decree of 3 February 2003 exempting certain categories of foreign nationals from the obligation to hold a professional card to pursue a self-employed professional activity.• Law of 15 December 1980 on entry, stay, settlement and removal of foreign nationals. • Royal decree of 8 October 1981 on entry, stay, settlement and removal of foreign nationals.