Vrouwelijke studente met paspoort en wereldbol in de hand

From March 1, 2023, researchers (WPPs) and postdoctoral fellows , with a third-country nationality, will only be able to start working at the VUB when they have a Single Permit (= combined work permit).

The known host agreement remains valid, but the rules and procedures for economic migration will apply to our researchers. This means that both the residence permit and the work permit will be submitted and processed in the same procedure by the competent authorities. To apply for the Single Permit, we need a number of documents. You can find an overview of the required documents in attachment (the documents indicated in yellow). The Single Permit is requested by VUB through the government portal. The entire process can take up to 12 weeks.

Please contact Team International (M&O_international@vub.be)  be so that we can provide time with the necessary information and initiate the procedure.

EEA+ nationals

If you are a national of a Member State of the European Union or Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland (EEA+ nationals) you can simply travel to Belgium with a valid international passport or identity card. You do not need to apply for a visa.

On arrival, you will have to register at the town hall of the municipality in which you will be residing.

Non-EEA+ nationals

You must apply for a visa at the Belgian diplomatic mission or embassy in your country of nationality or current country of residence. In most cases, the first contacts, inquiries and submission of documents occur online.

The dates on the visa stamp are the dates between which you are allowed to arrive in Belgium.

The applicable visa regulation depends on the duration of your stay.

Short stay (maximum of 90 days)

If you are planning to stay 90 days or less, your stay is defined as a short stay. In that case, please contact the HR International team.

Long stay (more than 90 days)

After you receive official confirmation of your employment or admission to study at VUB and the formal documents needed for your visa, you can start the application process. The steps to take depend on the type of contract you will have:

International PhD students (student visa type D)

International PhD students who are mandatory enrolled at our university will have to apply for a visa type D as students. PhD students, funded by VUB, need to be enrolled as students through the student administration.

Exact procedures may differ from one embassy to another, but you’ll need the following documents:
  • Application form (issued by the Belgian Federal Government);
  • Copy of a valid  international passport. Important: your passport needs to remain valid for at least 6 months after you arrive in Belgium;
  • Certificate of admission or Conditional Letter of Acceptance (issued by VUB’s Students’ Administration). Admission is granted upon approval by faculty. This procedure is initiated by the supervisor within the faculty. You will also be required to initiate your student pre-registration and submit all necessary documents;
  • PhD-scholarship contract (which serves as proof of financial means of subsistence). This contract is issued by the VUB Personnel Department (P&O);
  • Medical certificate. If you are already residing in Belgium or another EU-country, you might be exempt;
  • Certificate conforming the lack of criminal record (issued by the competent authorities in country of origin or current country of residence);
  • Administrative fees waiver (issued by the People & Organization team);
  • Engagement regarding health insurance coverage (issued by  the People & Organization team).

Self-funded PhD students follow a different procedure. For more information, please contact international.relations@vub.be.

Research and teaching staff (WPP) and postdoctoral scholarship holders

Research staff with an employment contract or a postdoctoral grant contract with our university and for whom we have drafted a hosting agreement will have to apply for a visa type D as researcher.

Required Documents:
Documents provided by Vrije Universiteit Brussel 
  • Employment contract or postdoc scholarship contract (also serves as proof of financial means of subsistence) 
  • Hosting agreement 
  • Administrative fees waiver
  • Commitment regarding health insurance coverage
Documents to be filled out / provided by applicant
  • Application form (official form issued by the Belgian Federal Government) or: online application (if applicable from your country).
  • Copy of a valid (at least for 6 months after arrival in Belgium) international passport
  • Master diploma or PhD certificate (depending on hiring level)
  • Medical certificate
  • Certificate conforming the lack of criminal record (issued by the competent authorities in country of origin or current country of residence)

Other staff categories

Other staff categories such as:

  • Professorial staff (ZAP)
  • Research and teaching assistants (AAP) 
  • Administrative and technical staff (ATP) 
  • Visiting professor  
  • Seconded staff (payroll employer in country of origin)



Create an HR-case in ServiceNow or mail us your question via mens_en_organisatie@vub.be