There is no residence permit issued by another EU country that gives you automatic access to the Belgian labour market. If you have a residence permit from another EU country, then it is possible for an employer – under certain conditions – to apply for a single permit for you. Once this application has been approved, you can come to work and live in Belgium. If you have a residence permit marked “EU long-term resident”, there are more advantageous conditions, but you still need a single permit issued by the Belgian authorities to be able to work in Belgium.
What is meant by a long-term EU resident?
Only if you hold a residence card that states ‘long-term EU resident’ for another EU country, do you have an advantage over employees who do not have this card when you come to Belgium to live and work. You will find examples of the cards per EU country here . You cannot obtain a residence card stating ‘Long-term EU resident’ in Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. With a residence card from one of these countries, you are not permitted to work in Belgium. This means you will have to follow the standard procedure to get permission to work in Belgium. The procedure is described here.
It’s best to ask in the EU country where you hold a residence card whether you are entitled to a residence card stating ‘Long-term EU resident’ and how to obtain one. No other residence card from another EU country entitles you to come to Belgium to live and work.
Important: it is possible that your residence card, from the country where you had the status of long-term resident, can be revoked. Ask about this in the country where you obtained your card when you renew your residence card. A long period of absence from a country is often reason for refusing the renewal of a residence card.