Job Service for Students
First of all, a word of caution. Finding a job as an international student is not easy.
For most jobs a sound knowledge of Dutch is necessary. Most employers even demand it.
The Ghent University Job Service for Students has developped a job database in order to help students find a suitable student job. However, this database is only available in Dutch. We therefore recommend that you contact the Job Service in person should you decide to look for a student job. They will also offer you valuable advice on your rights and responsabilities.
You must always register at the Job Service.
The employment contract the student receives, will indicate the gross amount of monthly wages. The net amount the student actually receives will be less, since taxes and social security deductions are withheld.
Rules according to country
For employment purposes, international students are divided into 2 groups:
Students who are nationals of one of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) may be employed in Belgium under the same conditions as Belgians. There is no need to apply for a work permit.
The EEA includes all members of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia*, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom), plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
* Please note that for nationals of Croatia, there is a transition period during which students still require a 'category C work permit' in order to work in Belgium.
Students from Switzerland may work in Belgium without a work permit.
Students from countries bordering Belgium (the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and France) should also register at the local authority. Should they stay in Belgium with a so-called 'annex 33' (Bijlage 33), they have not obtained a national number and therefore will not be entitled to repayment of taxes withheld by the employer. They will have to pay at least 25% non-refundable taxes on their income in Belgium.
Anyone who lives in Belgium for longer than three months must register at the local authority. They will receive a national registration number and will be entitled to repayment of taxes if they fall below the income cut-off.
The spouse and children of an EEA student may also work in Belgium, even if they are not EEA nationals. They do need to be married and to be living together.
Non-EU/EEA (including Croatia)
Non-EEA students who wish to work during the academic year are required to have a category C work permit, except for jobs during the summer.
PhD students cannot register at the Job Service.