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Nationals of the EER require a residence permit if they are in Belgium for a period of more than three months. They do not need a work permit. All others require a work permit and a residence permit. The rules on work permits are less strict for executives and highly qualified researchers.

Before taking up employment in Belgium, any person needing a work permit must obtain authorisation for temporary residence through a Belgian embassy or consulate-general in their home country, or from the diplomatic representation of a country authorised by the Belgian government to act on its behalf where it has no independent representation.

The Belgian law is by principle very strict to grant work permits as they are in general only delivered if one can prove that there is a shortage on the Belgian labour market and a bilateral agreement is concluded between Belgium and the country of the foreign national.

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