Registration procedures and residence permits
Kinds of employment
- First stage (regardless of the length of stay) - On arrival in Belgium, you must report your presence to the municipal administration within 10 working days. You will need to show your passport or identity card. You will then be given a special certificate, a ‘déclaration de présence/ Melding van aanwezigheid’ [notification of presence].
- Short stays for nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) (Notification of presence) - In principle, a notification of presence is sufficient for a stay on Belgian territory lasting less than three months.
Note that in a number of cases you must nevertheless go through the procedure to obtain Annex 19 (proof of application for a registration certificate). For example, if you come to Belgium as an employed person, your employer may ask for Annex 19. Enquire at the municipal administration.
- You can obtain the Meldezettel from the relevant registration authorities, or on the Internet.
EU/EEA citizens and Swiss nationals and their families (with EU/EEA citizenship/Swiss citizenship) do not require a visa to enter Austria or a residence permit to take up residence; they are exempted from visa requirements and are free to settle where they please. This means you may stay in Austria for up to three months without any further formalities, although you must be in possession of a valid passport or identity card. If you wish to stay longer in Austria, however, you must have health insurance and sufficient funds to support yourself and your relatives, and be able to demonstrate that you are in employment, are self-employed or are undergoing training in Austria. The appropriate authority must be notified of residence within four months of arrival in Austria. The authority issues a right of residence document (Anmeldebescheinigung). Citizens of EU/EEA countries may in addition apply for a Lichtbildausweis für EWR-Bürger (official identification with photo for EEA citizens). The Lichtbildausweis counts as proof of identity.
- Non-permanent stays of more than three months for EEA nationals -
a. Annex 19 (proof of application for a registration certificate)
If you want to stay in Belgium for more than three months, you must apply to your municipality for a registration certificate (Annex 19) within three months of arrival.
You should report to the municipality, showing your passport or identity card and your ‘notification of presence’.
The municipal administration will ask you to indicate the precise reason for your stay (an employed person, a self-employed person, a jobseeker, a student, an EEA national who can provide evidence of adequate financial resources, or as a member of an EEA national's family).
- Swiss nationals - This registration procedure does not apply to Swiss nationals. Swiss nationals are required to follow another registration procedure. Enquire at the municipal administration.
- Legislation in Belgium distinguishes between workers and employees: workers perform primarily manual work, while employees perform primarily intellectual work.
- Open-ended employment contract:an employment contract may be concluded without specifying a limit in time (i.e. it is for an unlimited period).
- Fixed-term employment contract: a contract that is limited in time (fixed-term contract or contract for a clearly defined job).
- Employment contract for specific work: a contract under which a specific job is to be carried out (for instance, acting in a specific film or fruit-picking on a farm).
- Employment contract to work as a replacement: a replacement contract may be concluded to replace a permanent employee whose employment contract has been suspended for a reason other than partial unemployment on economic grounds or because of the weather, strike or lock-out.
- Contract for the performance of temporary work: a contract for the performance of temporary work may only be concluded in four situations: the replacement of a permanent employee; an exceptional increase in workload; the performance of a one-off employment activity; and the provision of artistic performances or production of artistic works on behalf of an occasional employer or end-user.
- Full-time contract: the contract is concluded for the maximum hours of work in the company.
- Part-time contract: the contract is concluded for a period less than the normal hours of work in the company.
In Belgium, a minor (a person under the age of eighteen years) can conclude and terminate an employment contract, with the express or tacit consent of a parent or guardian.Under a student employment contract, young people can, from the age of fifteen, work full time during the school holidays if they are in full-time education.
The general principle is that employees and employers can no longer include a trial period in an employment contract concluded after 1 January 2014. If, despite this, a trial period clause is included, it will be regarded as invalid. Exceptions: student employment contracts and employment contracts commencing before 1 January 2014.