Expat Q&A: working in and outside Belgium

Perhaps your job requires you to spend days working outside Belgium and you aren’t sure how this affects your social security

With Belgium and Brussels being such an international hub, there are thousands of people passing in and out of the country each year. Perhaps your job requires you to spend days working outside Belgium and you aren’t sure how this affects your social security, or maybe you don’t know whether you need a permit to work in Belgium. Here we provide answers to ease your transition to working life in Belgium. 

What is the expat status?

Foreign executives who are temporarily in Belgium may qualify for a favourable tax status. To do so, they must work for an international group and be posted to Belgium. Moreover, a prior agreement of the tax administration is needed and the status is granted for 12 months, but is renewable.

What happens if I work in two countries at the same time?

There are European rules that determine to which social security system the worker belongs and where the social contributions should be paid. If the employee works for at least 25% of his or her working hours in their country of residence, (s)he will be covered under the social insurance system of that country. Regarding the taxation, the employee will be taxed on a pro rata basis in each country where (s)he works.

Who should have a work permit?

All employees under an employment contract need a work permit unless they come from a European Union member state, the European Economic Area or Switzerland. There are three types of work permit: A, B or C. The work permit is issued by the competent Region (Brussels, Flanders or Wallonia).

Who needs a professional card?

A professional card is mandatory for all self-employed workers who do not come from the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland. This card can be requested at an embassy of Belgium or at a one-stop-shop business service in Belgium.

Group S are specialists in providing information for expats on a range of topics, including setting up a business in Belgium, social security help and self-employment administration. They have a special English-speaking division to aid their growing number of international clients.


Categories:   Administration


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