Before starting at Ghent University

! NEW !
Starting from 1.1.2019 a new procedure to obtain proof to work and live in Belgium is implemented. It is called the Single Residence Permit. The HR department of the University will inform you by email about the required documents and conditions to start this procedure. The new Single Residence Procedure replaces the work permit application and visa application for all UGent employees.

Work permit

To be able to work in Belgium as a non-national, you need a work permit. Ghent University applies for the work authorisation and work permit B as the employer.
If you meet certain conditions, an exemption from this obligation applies. Ghent University checks whether the candidate employee meets the conditions for exemption.

The following exempt from work permits, for example:

  • Nationals of a Member State of the European Economic Area and citizens of Switzerland (EEA = EU + Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway)
  • Postdoctoral foreigners who hold a doctor’s degree or equivalent who benefit from an allowance for scientific research and who, in the context of international mobility, conduct fundamental scientific research the host university with a view to upgrading their scientific knowledge gained in the context of the doctorate and,for a maximum period of three years,
  • Researchers who come to Belgium to do research in the context of a hosting agreement.

List of (all) exemptions from the obligation to obtain a work permit

The application for a work permit must, in principle, be submitted before you leave for Belgium. The application procedure for a visa can only be started after a work permit or an exemption has been obtained.

The DPO Recruitment Administration team tests the application against the conditions and checks whether a work permit must be applied for in order to take up employment.

A work permit is required

If this is the case, the Recruitment Administration team will request the work permit.
After approval by the competent Department:

  • If you’re staying legally in the country, you can pick up the work permit yourself in the municipality where you’re staying.
  • If you do not reside in Belgium, the Recruitment Administration team retrieves the card and hands it over to the faculty department, which in turn transfers it to you.

No work permit is required

If a work permit is not required, the Recruitment Administration team will provide you with the documents required to prove the exemption with a view to obtaining the visa/legal right to stay.

Extension of the work permit

DPO is responsible for the application of the work permit and for extensions.
A work permit B is awarded for a maximum period of 12 months. In principle, it can be extended for a maximum period of 12 months each time, as long as the conditions have been and continue to be complied with.

Documents required to apply for a work permit

  • Medical certificate
  • Copy of identity documents
  • Copy of diploma or certificate
  • Information sheet IM10.1 (for those already residing in Belgium and only for the first request)
  • Recent passport photo
  • CV

Related information

More information about work permit B


The application procedure for a visa can only be started after a work permit or an exemption has been obtained.

You’re responsible for applying for a visa yourself. Make sure that you submit your visa application early enough.

The processing time can sometimes be quite long.

  • Nationals of one of the countries in the European Economic Area or Switzerland:
    • These people are exempt from a visa.
    • A national passport or identity card is sufficient for entry into Belgium.
  • Non-EEA nationals:

Related information

Diploma equivalence

Academics who wish to work at Ghent University with a foreign (non-European) diploma require an equivalence recognition of that diploma.
This is the official proof that the foreign diploma has the same value as an equivalent Flemish diploma.

To obtain this proof, you must take the required steps yourself.

When applying for a visa or a work permit, a translation of a diploma might be necessary. This needs to be done by a certified translator. On the website of the Belgian government more information can be found on legalisation of documents.

Preparing your journey

Accommodation in Belgium

Ghent University offers accommodation opportunities for international staff.