Close-up van hand met stempel en documenten

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& so that we can provide time with the necessary information and initiate the procedure.

EEA nationals and Swiss nationals

EEA nationals and Swiss nationals do not need a work permit to work in Belgium. 

Non-EEA nationals

Non-EEA nationals normally need a single permit or work permit to work in Belgium. 

Which kind of work permit depends on the staff category under which you are employed at VUB. If you’re a non-EEA national holding a B, C, D, F or F+ residence permit or a registration certificate for family reunification with an EU citizen, the right to work is automatically mentioned on your residence card. 

Staff with a mandatory single permit

All other staff members without a legal waiver need a work permit, depending on the duration of the employment and the country of nationality. The procedure for obtaining the work permit and/or single permit will be coordinated and initiated by the HR International team within our People & Organization department. They will contact you to request the documents necessary for the application. Keep in mind that the procedure can take up 8 to 16 weeks after submission of a duly completed application file. This applies to:

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

Please be aware that you need to have received approval for the work permit or single permit before you can apply for a visa type D at the Belgian diplomatic mission or Visa Application Center.

PhD students

If you’re a doctoral scholarship holder, you need to be enrolled as a student at VUB. This means you’re considered a student for the purposes of the entry and residence legislation. Visit our immigration and visa page for more information.

Research staff (WPP) or postdoctoral grant holders

If you’re research staff with an employment contract or post-doctoral grant contract, you will receive a hosting agreement. The hosting agreement will be provided by your file-manager at the People and Organization department. You will need to submit this document as soon as possible when applying for a visa type D at the Belgian diplomatic mission or, if you are already legally residing in Belgium, at the town hall of your current residence. Visit our immigration and visa page for more information regarding visas.

Single Permit procedure (non-EEA nationals)

Future staff members (VUB payroll) and visiting staff members (non-VUB payroll) who will be living and working in Belgium for a period longer than three months have to apply for a single permit. This is done by the HR International team within the People & Organization department. This combined residence and work permit allows non-EEA nationals to reside and work in Belgium. 

  • Our international HR specialists will handle the application for you and will contact you to request the necessary documents. 
  • The single permit application can take quite some time. Expect the procedure to take 10-16 weeks from the date of submission of a duly completed application. The single permit is issued for a maximum period of three years or until the end of the employment period.
Renewal or extension of single permit/work permit

In order to apply for an extension of your residence permit, your work permit or single permit needs to be extended first.  

  • Please keep in mind that renewal applications can take several months. We recommend that supervisors and faculty (where applicable) start the renewal procedure with People & Organization three to four months before the end date of your current employment contract. 
  • At present, researchers with a hosting agreement do not yet need a single permit to apply for an extension of their residence permit. Signed employment contract/grant contract and hosting agreement are sufficient to start the renewal of the residence permit. 

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