From 15 August 2021 onwards, non-EEA students can apply for a 12-month residence permit to seek employment in Belgium after graduation. You will not be applying for a visa but for an extension of the residence permit.
Learn more about the terms and conditions below.
Are you eligible?
You have to meet the following eligibility criteria in order to apply for an extended residence permit to seek employment:
In the past academic year you have:
- graduated from an associate degree programme, a bachelor’s, master’s or postgraduate certificate programme at a higher education institution in Belgium; or
- obtained a diploma at a foreign higher education institution and completed a mobility programme in Belgium (e.g. Erasmus or other exchange programme)
How can you apply?
- If you have obtained your diploma in Belgium
You must submit your application at the city office where you reside, at the latest 15 days before the expiry of your residence permit.
- If you have obtained your diploma in another country
You have to submit your application at the Belgian embassy or consulate in your country of residence within 3 months after obtaining your diploma.
Which documents do you need to apply?
- a valid passport
- proof that you have:
- either obtained a recognized diploma of at least qualification level 5 (associate degree) at a higher education institution in Belgium
- or that you stayed in Belgium for your studies as part of a mobility programme (for students who obtained their diploma in another country)
- a proof of health insurance
- a proof of solvency, one of which is the blocked account.
UCLL offers the blocked account option:
9000 euro + 100 euro processing fee = 9,100 euro.
Please contact admissions [at] ucll.be if you are interested in this option.
What rights and obligations will you have?
- You are not entitled to Belgian unemployment benefits
- You must be making effective attempts to find work or take the necessary steps to comply with all legal obligations in order to exercise an independent professional activity.
- You will have unlimited access to the Belgian labour market. The unlimited access will be granted as soon as you receive your Annexe 15 form or your A card, whichever comes first.
- Last but not least, as soon as you have found a job you need to apply for a single permit. More information about this can be found on the website of the Flemish government.
- Information about the professional card for foreigners and the steps to take to start up a business in Belgium is available on the websites of the Regions: