Internship Legislation and Students Visa in Belgium
Belgium, a central hub of international politics and business, offers a vast array of educational and career opportunities for students worldwide. Whether you’re an EU citizen or hail from a non-EU country, understanding Belgium’s specific legal framework regarding internships and student visas is crucial. Join Piktalent and uncover the finest internship prospects with ease.
Both Belgian nationals and foreigners must adhere to internship regulations to ensure compliance with Belgian labour laws. However, the specific regulations vary based on the individual’s nationality, whether they are an EU citizen or a non-EU citizen.
As per the European Union’s legislation, EU citizens enjoy the right to move freely within the Union. This means that if you are an EU citizen, you won’t need a visa to study or complete an internship in Belgium.
However, if you plan to stay in Belgium for more than three months, you must register with the local town hall (Maison communale/Gemeentehuis) in your place of residence within eight days of your arrival. You will then receive a registration certificate, the “Annex 19ter,” proving you have fulfilled your obligation.
For obligatory internships (those tied to your studies), you should have an internship agreement set up with your educational institution and the company.
For voluntary internships, you will need an internship contract with the company. This contract should detail the nature of the work, duration of the internship, working hours, and mentorship provisions. It’s important to note that while voluntary internships aren’t directly tied to your studies, they should still provide a form of educational training.
Non-EU citizens wishing to study in Belgium need to apply for a national long-stay visa (D-visa) that allows them to stay longer than three months.
The primary conditions to qualify for a student visa include:
- A letter of acceptance from an accredited Belgian educational institution for a full-time course.
- Proof of sufficient financial means to cover your living, health insurance, study, and repatriation costs.
- A medical certificate confirming you’re free from diseases that could impact public health.
- A certificate of good conduct, proving you’ve not been involved in any criminal activities.
For non-EU citizens, the right to intern in Belgium depends on your residency status. If you hold a student visa, you can do an obligatory internship as part of your studies without a work permit. For voluntary internships, however, you may require a professional card or work permit.
The specific type of work permit (A, B, or C) depends on various factors, including the internship’s duration and your nationality. It’s advisable to consult the Belgian embassy in your home country or the Internship Office at your Belgian university to determine which permit you need.
In conclusion, Belgium offers great opportunities for students and interns, irrespective of their EU or non-EU status. However, it’s essential to understand the legalities involved to ensure a hassle-free experience. Start your journey well-prepared, and Belgium will open its doors to enriching educational and professional experiences.
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Frequently Asked Questions
No, EU citizens do not need a visa to study or intern in Belgium, due to the right to free movement within the EU. However, if they plan to stay for more than three months, they need to register with the local town hall in their place of residence.
Non-EU citizens need to apply for a national long-stay visa (D-visa). They must provide a letter of acceptance from a Belgian educational institution, proof of financial means to cover all costs, a medical certificate, and a certificate of good conduct.
Non-EU students who hold a student visa can do an obligatory internship as part of their studies without a work permit. However, for voluntary internships, they may require a professional card or work permit. The specific type of work permit required depends on various factors.
An obligatory internship is one that is tied to your studies. This means that the internship is a required part of your educational program.
A voluntary internship is not directly tied to your studies, but it should still provide a form of educational training. For such internships, you need to set up an internship contract with the company offering the internship.
Yes, you should have an internship agreement set up with your educational institution and the company offering the internship if it’s an obligatory internship.
A Belgian internship contract should detail the nature of the work, the duration of the internship, working hours, and mentorship provisions. It’s crucial to go through the contract thoroughly before signing it to understand your rights and obligations during the internship.
It’s best to consult the Belgian embassy in your home country or the Internship Office at your Belgian university to determine which work permit you need for a voluntary internship.
In Belgium, internships can be classified into three main categories: obligatory internships tied to education, voluntary internships, and transition internships for job-seekers.