I am on a study stay in French-speaking Belgium; can I work while I study?

In Belgium, all foreign students, even if from outside the European Economic Area, can work while studying. The only conditions are that they must be enrolled with a higher education institution in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation and must have a valid residence permit. Since 2018, there is no longer any need to request a work permit, you only need the essential “single permit”. Note that a valid residence permit means that students must be registered with the Register of foreigners and have a certificate of registration there (C.I.R.E.). You can request this residence document from the local authority of the place of residence (resident and/or foreign services).

When can I work while I am a foreign student in French-speaking Belgium? 

To find out when you can work in Belgium, take a look at your residence permit. Issued by the municipality, it states all the options you have to access the employment market in Belgium. Depending on the period you intend to work, the following options are open to you:

  • During school holidays (Christmas, spring, summer – July, August, September): the student can work with no limit to the number of hours.
  • During the school year: the student can work no more than 20 hours per week and the work must be compatible with study.

Please note: if a foreign student works more than 20 hours a week during the school term, the Immigration Office may consider that the studies pursued are no longer the main activity. This could cause problems when trying to renew your residence permit.

How to find a job as a student in French-speaking Belgium

To find a job as a student and work in French-speaking Belgium, you can contact the higher education institution with which you wish to enrol. If you prefer, you can also take a look at the following websites:

Will I be able to work after my studies?

After completing his studies in Belgium, the third-country national may ask to be authorised to extend his stay for a maximum of 12 months, in order to look for work or set up a company, with the aim of obtaining a residence permit for employment purposes.
To find out more, visit the website of the Immigration Office.

Fancy studying in French-speaking Belgium?