Belgium Working Holiday Visa

Belgium Working Holiday Visa

If the abundance of world-famous beer, waffles and chocolate isn’t enough reason to visit Belgium, how about the picturesque towns and incredible architecture of the quiet medieval villages? 

Belgium has entered an agreement with several countries to allow young adults to experience and understand the local culture of the participating countries. A Working Holiday Visa provides a chance for young adults, from ages between 18 and 30 years old, to see the world and craft their own identity while getting a global experience. With this permit, you will be able to work to sustain long term travel across Belgium.

Overseas work experience also sets you apart from other candidates when you’re interviewing for jobs when you want to embark on your professional career. It can also be a good start if you ever want to apply for permanent residency as you get a handle on how life is in Belgium.

If you’re planning your gap year, or if you just want to travel for an extended period of time, it’s important to plan your journey and make the most of your trip. Belgium is just one country among many others that offer Working Holiday Visa opportunities. If you want more Working Holiday visa options to choose from, check out our blog post: Working Holiday Visas – Which Countries Offer Working Holiday Visas?

Reasons to Get a Working Holiday Visa in Belgium

Dreaming of taking a long trip abroad? Here are just some of the reasons why you should choose Belgium.

  1. Belgium is centrally located in Europe, so travelling to other countries is easy. Many airline companies from other countries and continents regard Belgium as the first stop in Europe due to its central location in Europe. This also means direct flights for you to the many destinations both in Europe and overseas.
  2. Brussels is one of the most globalized cities in the world and is known as the capital of the European Union. Brussels is home to many national and multinational companies which means many job opportunities for foreign nationals.
  3. Belgium is a multilingual country. You can practice and learn English, French, German and Dutch, all in the same country.
  4. A working holiday gives you the opportunity to try different kinds of work and boost your CV.
  5. Get a local experience beyond the usual tourist encounters. You will get to know the local culture, cuisine, and art scene and have the chance to make international as well as local friends.

Belgium’s Bilateral Agreement

Belgium has made Working Holiday visa agreements with the following 5 participating countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan

The main purpose of the visit should be for a holiday and employment should be incidental rather than the primary reason. In order to qualify for the Belgian working holiday visa, you must be a citizen of one of the participating countries plus the additional conditions of each country.

Belgium is part of the European Union so once you have the working holiday visa, you will be able to enjoy the freedom of movement among EU member states for not more than 90 days.

If you are a Belgian national and are considering a Working Holiday experience in one of the countries above, check our Working Holiday blog post for Australia, Canada, and New Zealand or contact the Embassy of the country in question for more information.

Belgium’s agreement may differ from one participating country to another so check the rules and regulations of each country to know if you are eligible.

Australia

Belgium and Australia signed an Agreement on a Working Holiday Scheme in November 2002. The objective of the program is to allow Australians to visit Belgium for a maximum of 12 months.

Under the Working Holiday Program (WHP), you may engage in study or training programmes in Belgium. The total duration of such programmes, however, may not exceed 3 months.

You do not need a work permit to exercise activity as a salaried worker in Belgium. Access to some professions, however, may be dependent upon recognition of specific qualifications and any rules of registration for practise in that profession.

With this visa, there is no maximum period of employment specified. Although some employers or temp agencies will only allow you to work for them for 3 months and others may employ you for up to 6 months.

For Australians to qualify for a Working Holiday Visa in Belgium, the following conditions have to be met:

  • be aged between 18 and 30 years 
  • hold a valid Australian passport
  • possess a valid return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket
  • have sufficient means, i.e. a minimum of EUR 2,500
  • be a first-time applicant under this Scheme
  • submit a medical certificate issued by a medical doctor appointed by the Belgian Embassy
  • produce a document vouching for their good character
  • it is recommended they have comprehensive medical and hospitalisation insurance for the duration of their stay

Documents you need to prepare:

  • 2 completed and signed visa D application forms.
  • 2 recent passport-sized photographs.
  • Valid Australian passport.
  • An original National Criminal History Record Check not older than 6 months on the day you submit your application, delivered by the competent authority. This document has to be legalised by means of an Apostille. 
  • A recent medical report stating that you are not suffering from any contagious diseases. The medical exam is to be done by a doctor appointed by the Embassy.
  • Proof of sufficient funds under your own name, minimum of EUR 2,500
  • A flight itinerary for a return flight or proof of a one-way flight plus proof that the applicant has sufficient funds to purchase the return ticket.
  • Medical insurance for the duration of your stay. 

Keep in mind that additional documents may be requested at the discretion of the embassy or consulate.

Within eight days after your arrival, you need to register your address at the nearest commune and you will be provided a residence card.

You must apply for Working Holiday Visa under the Long Stay visa at the Belgian Embassy in Canberra.

Canada

Canadian citizens living in Canada, aged between 18 and 30 years old can participate in the program if they meet the eligibility criteria of the program.

You are expected to be in good health, have extensive insurance for the duration of your stay, and have sufficient financial means to travel. You must also meet all requirements of good conduct in relation to public order and security.

Documents you need to prepare:

  • A statement of Intent
  • 2 recent passport size photo
  • Valid Canadian Passport
  • Police check dated less than 6 months before the application
  • Medical Certificate from an accredited Doctor
  • Proof of sufficient funds, minimum of EUR 2,500
  • Ability to Return (return ticket or proof of means to purchase a return ticket)
  • Travel and Health Insurance coverage

Additional documents may be requested at the discretion of the embassy or consulate.

As soon as your application has been approved, you will be allowed to stay for 12 months in Belgium with a multiple entry visa. You cannot extend the duration of your stay, nor change your status. You are only allowed to participate in the program once.

Once you have the visa, you should arrive in Belgium within 3 months from the date your visa was issued. And, within eight days after your arrival, you need to register your address at the nearest commune and you will be provided with a residence card, which will allow you to travel around the Schengen area.

The program offers an exemption from the obligation to obtain a work permit before engaging in paid work in Belgium. You may take lessons or follow study programs for a maximum of 3 months in total.

Applications should be addressed to the Consulate General of Belgium in Montreal at least one month before your intended travel date.

New Zealand

Young nationals of New Zealand who wish to take advantage of the provisions of this Agreement should be between the ages of 18 and 30 years old.

You must also meet the following additional criteria:

  • hold a valid New Zealand passport
  • possess a valid return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket
  • have sufficient means, minimum of EUR 2,500;
  • be a first-time applicant under this Scheme
  • submit a medical certificate issued by a medical doctor appointed by the Belgian Embassy or Consulate, stating that they have no disease or infirmity that may endanger public health, order or security.
  • produce a document vouching for their good character;
  • have comprehensive medical and hospitalisation insurance for the duration of your stay.

Documents you have to prepare are:

  • 2 completed and signed visa D application forms.
  • 2 recent passport size photo
  • Valid New Zealand passport.
  • An original National Criminal History Record Check not older than 6 months on the day you submit your application, delivered by the competent authority. This document has to be legalised by means of an Apostille. 
  • A recent medical report stating that you are not suffering from any contagious diseases; issued not more than 3 months
  • Proof of sufficient funds 
  • A flight itinerary for a return flight or proof of a one-way flight plus proof that the applicant has sufficient funds to purchase the return leg
  • Travel and Medical insurance for the entire period of stay

Additional documents may be requested at the discretion of the embassy or consulate.

Under the program, you may engage in study or training programmes in Belgium. The total duration of such programmes, however, may not exceed 3 months.

You must apply for Working Holiday Visa under the Long Stay visa at the Belgian Embassy in Canberra.

You do not need a work permit to exercise activity as a salaried worker in Belgium. Access to some professions, however, may be dependent upon recognition of specific qualifications and any rules of registration for practise in that profession.  

South Korea

With a Working Holiday visa, young South Koreans ages between 18 and 30 years old may have an extended holiday of 12 months in Belgium and engage in short-term employment without the need to obtain a working permit. During the stay in Belgium, it is possible to work or to study for a maximum of 6 months.

Documents you need to prepare:

  • Valid South Korean passport
  • Application Form
  • 2 Recent passport size photo
  • Proof of funds under your name, minimum is EUR 2,500
  • Travel and Medical Insurance for the duration of your stay
  • Return ticket or proof of sufficient funds to purchase such ticket
  • Proof of absence of criminal convictions issued by Korean police stations.
  • Medical Certificate appointed by the embassy or legalised by an Apostille through the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Additional documents may be requested at the discretion of the embassy/consulate.

Within 8 days upon your arrival, you must register your residence at the local municipal administration nearest you. To register your residence, some municipalities require a legalised birth certificate and a legalised certificate of unmarried status therefore we advise you to take these documents with you to Belgium.

Remember that you cannot change the working holiday visa to another visa type while being in Belgium, and the visa cannot be renewed.

You need to make an appointment online (the same site where you filled out your application) so you can personally submit your application and supporting documents at the Belgian Embassy in Seoul.

Taiwan

Since 2013, the Working Holiday Program enables up to 200 young Taiwanese annually to have an extended holiday of 12 months in Belgium and supplement their funds with short-term employment. 

To qualify for the program, you should meet the following conditions:

  • be between the age of 18 and 30 years (inclusive)
  • have not participated in the working holiday program for Belgium before
  • have a sufficient knowledge of one of Belgium’s national languages (French, Dutch, German) or English
  • be domiciled in Taiwan
  • travel without dependents
  • have sufficient financial resources at the time of departure, for a minimum of EUR 2,500.

Additional documents may be requested at the discretion of the embassy or consulate.

To apply, you need to prepare the following

  • 2 copies of the application form
  • 2 recent passport size photo
  • A valid passport
  • A valid round trip ticket or sufficient resources to purchase one
  • Proof of sufficient funds under your name, minimum of EUR 2,500
  • An “all risk” insurance valid for the period of your stay and covering occupational accidents, health care including medical costs, hospitalization and return home coverage
  • A copy of Taiwanese Health Insurance ID card and English Insurance certification to prove your participation in the National Health Insurance Program of Taiwan
  • Medical Certificate
  • A duly authenticated certificate of good conduct

Upon arrival in Belgium, you must register with the municipal authority where you will take up residence within 8 days of their arrival. The residence permit granted will allow you to reside in Belgium for a period of 12 months. In case of change of residence, you must inform the municipal authority of departure and arrival.

You need to make an appointment online (the same site where you filled out your application) so you can personally submit your application and supporting documents at the Belgian Embassy in Taipei.

The usual processing time for Working Holiday Visas is one month, but this varies according to the time of year. It also depends on whether complete documents were submitted during the application.

A visa application can be submitted up to 6 months before departure, and must be submitted at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit.

To help support your escapade in Belgium, we have gathered several sites who may offer something that may interest you. You may visit the following websites.

You can also join groups in social media to assist with your job search.

Are you ready to start your journey to Belgium? Talk to us in the comment section below.

If you have plans to travel, check out the deals we have found in the description box below.

Check out the offers and discounts from:

And because of the pandemic, don’t forget to get your travel insurance, which will cover you for flight disruptions and pandemic related matters.

IaM can help with your visa application to the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

Some of our posts include affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any of these products, we might get a small commission. For more information, check out our TOS.

Charlie

 

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