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You are here: Home Employment Employment Information How to find a job in Belgium
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01/11/2011How to find a job in Belgium

How to find a job in Belgium If you are an expat, there are a handful of suitable jobs and an awful lot of job-seekers. But it can be done. Here's a guide to finding employment in Belgium.

Related Articles

Before working in Belgium, and especially if you are a non-EU national, make sure your work permits and residence papers are in order. Brussels, being the seat of the European Union and European Parliament, can be a big pull-factor for expatriates.

Although advertisements for jobs within these institutions do appear from time to time, you will more often than not have to pass a series of examinations in order to become listed on their reserve list of possible employees. This procedure takes about a year and a job is not guaranteed at the end of it.

Languages

If you are competing in the national job market, you will likely need an excellent command of French or Dutch, depending on where the job is based - or both if in Brussels.  A third language such as English is either a bonus or a job requirement.   In the international arena you are certainly going to need English with French or Dutch as a working language.  Any language in addition to that is a bonus.

Where to Look

Finding work depends very much on your language abilities in this multi-lingual country.  If you are happy to work in French or Dutch (or preferably both in Brussels), then the national newspapers Le Soir and Het Laatse Nieuws are excellent places to start.

For English speakers, Expatica (jobs.expatica.com),  the weekly newspapers, The European Voice and The Bulletin advertise international secretarial and managerial positions typically in public affairs and teaching. There are also a range of recruitment agencies focused on the expatriate offering jobs at various levels.  Headhunting agencies are also common in Belgium, but tend to specialise in executive positions.

Work Permits for non-EU nationals
Type B: This type is the more usual one and is valid for one specified employer for a renewable period of one year. If you change jobs your permit is invalidated. To obtain this type of work permit your potential employer must apply for an employment authorisation from the regional employment office. Once this is issued you are automatically eligible for the type B permit. A medical certificate may be required.

Type A: Valid for unlimited time for any employer. To apply for this either you must have resided legally in Belgium for a continuous period of five years, or you must have lived and worked in Belgium for at least four years and already hold a type B.

Starting Work


Once you have found a job, there is usually a probationary period of two weeks for blue collar workers and anything between a month and twelve months for white collar, depending on salary . Typically, those earning less than EUR 34.261 will have a trial period of one to six months, whilst those earning more can be on trial for as much as 12 months. During this period either side can terminate the employment with seven days notice.

The average working week is 38 hours, although longer working hours are common, particularly in international institutions. Overtime regulations do not apply in all circumstances, so be prepared not to receive time in lieu or compensation for working overtime.

In Belgium, you must work for one year before any holiday entitlement is paid. That is then calculated on the basis of how many months you were in the job for the preceding year. However, if you worked a full calendar year, you are then entitled to a minimum of twenty days. In addition there are ten legal holidays in Belgium, many of them religious days. If a legal day falls at the weekend, you are entitled to a day off in lieu. You are also entitled to a holiday allowance which varies according to the type of job.

Unemployment agencies


ORBEM
www.orbem.be
Boulevard Anspach 65
1000 Brussels
02 505 1411

VDAB
www.vdab.be
Keizerlaan 11
1000 Brussels
02 506 15 11

Forem
www.forem.be
Wavre Office:
010 224 324




19 reactions to this article

Ceca posted: 2011-12-14 00:41:44

This is a very usual situation for so many non-EU nationals who emigrate to EU countries to study, masters or a doctorate level. The main point of imperialistic forces is to use the youth, energy and intellectual power of people from less developed and former colony countries. And what happens after wards? Those students (I am talking about PhDes mostly) are forced to go back home where their chances to get a job, after loosing connections and being overqualified, are often even less than they were before going abroad. But everyone must realize that the capitalism and rules of the West are seriously bad, I dare say, one of the worst social arrangements ever. So when deciding going abroad, be aware of these facts. EU countries do not need emigrants, apart of using them to strengthen their economy and science and then buy, buy.

Ceca posted: 2011-12-14 00:58:17

So people...be smart. What this means - in many cases to find a native partner - I am aware of how this sounds, but in the end, if the main goal of imperialistic forces is to exploit poorer countries minds, then why those minds would not be allowed to exploit imperialistic forces. In short, your position in the foreign country will not be improved only by your educational skills... Sad, but true, I know many women from my country (East Europe) who are great in science, but successful only because of their native/EU and powerful husbands and their connections - without that - well maybe if they were next Einsteins, but even then... Sad, very sad, but TRUE.

Y posted: 2012-01-04 10:59:11

Dear ALL, I was so disappointed that i finally google if there is a problem with me , my master, my skill or something else and happen to read the whole article and comment above. I will confirm that these people discussing above have 100% reason. [Edited by moderator] Fortunately i have some freelancing projects to be able to sustain. I am in brussel nearly 6 months and still looking for a job in php here. Some friends who have contacts have already secured a job. [Edited] Lets hope to see some changes...

Wouter posted: 2012-01-09 16:03:00

Yeah...

OFICIALLY, being native cannot be a job requirement in Belgium, but if a foreigner is rejected for a job, it's impossible to proof that being a foreigner was the reason to be rejected, even though it's often obvious. I used to know a guy, born here in Flanders from Arab parents. He also had an Arab name. He spoke Dutch perfectly, was entirely familiar with Belgian habits and stuff, he felt Belgian. He had a very hard time finding a job. For years kept sending application letters, until he was sick and tired of it and changed his name to Bart (a typically Flemmish name). After that, he found a job in less than a month.

Milyv posted: 2012-04-27 22:23:58

I am also non-EU Citizen and have two masters from two recognized univeristies in the Netherlands. I have been applying to several jobs in Brussels for months and eventhough I have the perfect profile for those positions, I have never received any reply. When I finished my first master I though I could get a job, but again the same story.

I feel giving up, but I am married with a EU citizen, so I guess I will have to change my name in order to get a job

Ann posted: 2012-05-15 21:16:21

hallo allen
ik ben Begische, en zoek al 20jaar naar een (vaste) job.
tijdelijke jobs kan men krijgen, van 1week, 1maand, tot
maximum 6maand. (dit doe ik al 30jaar)
nu alweer 2jaar zonder job , zelf met de hulp
van VDAB, enz... OOK VOOR BELGEN IS ER GEEN WERK !!!
Waar kan ik heen ?

Ana Barroso posted: 2012-05-27 23:46:34

Hello I was just searching in the internet for information about British Expats in Belgium as my family is there and I am thinking of moving there. I am Portuguese and I live in UK for 8 years. But after reading all the coments for the editor about his comments I was preplexed and decided, No I have to speak. What most people [edited] are saying IS NOT TRUE AT ALL. If there is one thing Europe, Belgium more treasures and gives total priority IS SKILLS AND EDUCATION. I am European and I know that the highest Education score,grade, the more prestigious Education school/University you have had the better, that is how it works in Europe. The best ones with the best highest grades and only the best and knonw University are picked for the best companies, THIS IS A FACT. IT HAPPENED TO MY BROTHER. Is has been like this circle for centuries and part of the Educational system and that is why so many kids and adutls fight for grades and Universities like dogs and study until they drop dead, really applying themselves, something that doesn`t happen here or outside of Europe and that is why other people do not understand this way of being and do not understand either why they are more mature, go getters, self motivated, with a can attitude, with a real picture of goals anf life in their heads and ready to assume real life [edited], more independent, freedom of voice and choice, smart, ready to take on life challenges, konwing what they want , who they are and where to go, what road, with hardship and work to pay colleges we became stronger, knowledgeable, self suficient and learn from one little breadcrump to make one big meal. AND THAT MY FRIENDS AND READERS IS THE DIFFERENCE, LIKE OR NOT OF SUCCESS AND WORKING TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS NO MATTER, TO FIGHT FOR THEIR CORNER AND IN TOTAL CONFIDENCE. My brother is in Belgium, Ghent for 7 years and went from a excellent independent University - Biotechnology in Portugal as a sandwich course degree as a program and he did work his butt off for the best grades and worked in bad conditions for his projects until one day after he finished his degree his efforts and hard work was noticed by a known company and man that offered him a job after his work placement, he took it immediately knowing that the job was less and not even for the degree specialist that he wanted but he said yes, was Money and Experience, a chance TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE, FLEMISH, IMPORTANT PEOPLE AND NEW WORLDS AND DOORS. He worked his ass off, under terrible weather conditions, working outside with 10 degrees below zero with deadlines and motivating himself and all the other man, just like the army and he did the Belgium Royal Marina compound , managed it, worked on it and helped to design it for a couple of Euros but the reward was excellent references, for the first job, paid him Flemish lessons and controls the language totally like Dutch, opened doors to the most pretigious companies and after a couple of years ans specializations he is now managing, liaisoning with the best Eco Energy Companies in the world, Nuclear Technologies, Oil Companies Consultations Advice and back then he many times walked home on foot, many days could afford to much food and lived with his school mates to save on rent. Today he lives in one of the biggest apartments across the Ghent river luxurious part that he ownes and flying intenationally and people pay him for advise. SO PEOPLE AS YOU CAN SEE [edited by moderator] IF YOU WANT SOMETHING SO BAD YOU APPLY YOURSELF ? FIRST BE POSITIVE MIND AND VISUALIZE YOUR GOALS, WHAT YOU WANT AND WHAT YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO BE THEN YOU BE 100% CREATIVE TO CREATE THOSE CHANCES AND DOORS EVEN PICKING UP BAD JOBS, IS NOT I TELL YOU BY SITTING ON YOUR BACKSIDES DAY AND NIGHT AND PROCRASTINATION. JUST LIKE THE AMERICANS, YOU WANT IT , GO GET IT, WORK FOR IT, DREAM IT, YOU DO NOT HAVE IT, YOU CREATE IT, USE INOVATIVE WAYS AND IDEAS TO FUND YOUR DREAM EVEN PUT YOURSELF SLEEPING ACROSS YOUR TARGET COMPANY, BUSNESS IF YOU HAVE TOO, CREATING FRESH APPROACHES; Me I survive in UK for a long time by creating the chance given by the Government to create my own job, Be a BusinessWoman and happily and by doing what I love.

Yve posted: 2012-06-22 00:54:30

dear Ana, I am married with a third country national. Let me explain to you how things work in Brussels. I work everyday in the government field, I know people in the business world. [Edited by moderator] it is not about the marks since my wife has been sending applications for even internships and marks are not a requirement within the application; It is not about the university you have studied ; it is not what u know it is WHO you know. [Edited.] I prefer to leave to her home country at least there people appreciate their effort to improve their educational level.

Alfia posted: 2012-07-18 12:39:34

Dear Ana Barroso,

Thank you for your inspiring words! Sounded like a speech in some training course, but that is what I need now. If you want, you can!
I am not looking for a job in Belgium yet, me and my husband plan to move there a bit later, but I have similar situation now as many other people who complain now here in this blog. I am looking for a job in Spain, it is quite difficult, and i feel sometimes like giving up.
But you are right, in spite of all the discrimination and feelings that you never will get a job, you just need to struggle and have clear goals.

Also my admiration to you as a woman who is managing her own business! It is also in one of my plans!

Good luck to everyone!

BelgianGirl posted: 2012-08-25 19:45:48

I am 19 born and raised in Belgium, my mom has a uni diploma aswell and no job either... Been searching for 20years atleast aswell... In Belgium there's just a shortage of jobs; you either know some important people (that my mom doesn't know) or you choose a very very needed job, otherwise there are no jobs out there, no matter what race you are... Althought gender has got an effect: more females than males are unemployed and a lot of employers will choose a young male over an older female. Reason I'm studying medecine (always needed) ... Belgium just has too many people for such a small area... I wish it wasn't like that, I really want my bf to find a job here but it won't be easy... It's not easy for natives and it's not easy for others either but belgians are not racist, [Edited by moderator]. If you dont know anyone you really just cant expect to get any kind of job... belgium is too small to need many people

a smart non-EU resident posted: 2012-09-13 12:49:33

Dear Readers, Author, Fellow Residents ...

It is very interesting to read all the above opinions, experiences and opportunities. i have been living in Europe for 3 years now as a student. I have studied and research on EU politics in various areas of food, security, employment, foreign policy, immigration ...etc.

What i have observed that EU is open for various kinds of immigration but ... 1) a person cannot get a working visa from a non EU country unless you are an exceptional Scientist or Technologist 2) EU is wide open to non EU students in the recent years ... but the job market is very conservative both social and legal reasons play a role. 3) Officially any kind of discrimination for any citizen is intolerable ... and unofficially companies or organizations only want EU citizens due to various burdens imposed on them (in case of non EU) such as employment laws (lengthy process of proving non availability of EU national for particular job), Tax (too many conditions), social pressure from certain groups ... etc.
Practically from an Non EU resident view its like this "do your research and help develop us. we pay you for that and then you move on ...." Thats the deal.
I have seen non EU citizen get a job here especially in Germany ... and i have also seen Non EU citizens or Easter EU Nationals or EU nationals with foreign origins face problem in securing a job... especially in the areas where politics is active.

On of my research subjects an expert in regional and political integration in EU made a specific comment indicating some thing like this ... EU is very advanced in education, economics, technology and living conditions ... but there are a few groups or secs of population where the social and ideological views of a society are most conservative than many other underdeveloped countries.

My point is its changing phase in EU and all of Europe .... It has its gains and consequences.

Arianne Pollet-Brannen posted: 2012-10-23 00:01:28

All of you... come to Canada! If you have the right educational background
you will get a job no matter what colour your skin is or what religion you have. If anyone dares to deny you a job because of the aforementioned they would be in big doodoo! There is lots of room here for people with a good education as well as tradespeople.

wynesam posted: 2012-11-06 15:47:21

Just want to share my story..I'm an Asian married to a Belgian. Left my warm family, good job, great collegues,good social life...In my country I used to work as graphic designer for mor than 10 years. Since I moved here, life has not been simple,even finding a job. I first learned Flemmish for 1.5 years, then learned how to drive since public transport is not very accessible. Learned to cope up with homesickness.. We live in Limburg which makes it more difficult for me to find a job as a graphic designer. Here they offer more technical/mechanical jobs. I moved here in 2006, and in 2009 I was able to find a job as a graphic designer! My boss by the way is not Belgian, but a Dutch :-) He told me before that he knows the good reputation of Asians as workers and he also wanted to give me a chance to prove myself. And he said that he made the right decision. But sad to say the company went bankrupt early this year.. And now it's again a struggle to find the job I desire. That's why I'm thinking of taking a course from VDAB to broaden my chance in finding a job, even if it's not really my ideal job, which is sad. Or maybe search for a job in Holland coz there they are more open to English-speaking workers..Compared to life backhome,there I have more chance to work rightaway. But in life we have to make choices,and me

greenfish posted: 2012-11-12 01:14:38

After all these posts I get the idea that the chances to find a job in Belgium are grim. Don't even what to think of moving anymore. Is it really that bad and depressing? Anyone has anything positive to say?

Rahat posted: 2012-12-15 14:33:43

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

chris posted: 2012-12-28 23:57:04

i really want a job in belgium im so in to cycling thats why i want to move there i have applied in south africa and after 6 years in oz im just desparate to live in belgium im so in love with the way it is there so relaxed not anal like oz or uk

Non-Eu resident posted: 2013-02-06 01:53:58

I've been working in belgium for english speaking companies to start with. With extensive experience in top notch companies, i have been only able to get 1 interview in 7 months. The jobs that advertise dutch/french as asset too find that is the min requirement during screening. Well in this hope, my french language increased to level where i can use it in work, but now i need to be trilingual to secure an interview. Hmmm. Hope to continue the efforts to reach there.

AH posted: 2013-02-18 01:06:33

These people that complains about everything..... they say that are very professional and they lost a lot of opportunities.....why they do not do a new business in a good way? or they are waiting for daddy to do that for them!

Lazy people always complains about everything and they are unable to do nothing all their life.

This world new good people!

Cristy posted: 2014-03-07 19:34:14

After reading all the comments stated above, i feel a bit nervous and sad. I am married with a belgian guy, we are living in lommel for 5 mos. but sad to say, as the rules for expats or anybody who happened to marry a citizen here has to undergo a 3 mos program, where u will be teach to learn some basic in their language, which is good and beneficial. But, the sad thing was, u are not allowed to go out of the country for six months and work. U have to follow the course on language for 3 mos also. My mom died, and becoz of the rules i can't go home. I feel really hopeless. But, i have no choice. I have to mourn here not seeing my dead mom back home. Everything seem hard to get here, follow the rules, learn the language, work, work and work. But, i am still positive that after my class here, and learning the language, good things will follow since my visa application inspired me with it's fast approval. Goodluck to all.

19 reactions to this article

Ceca posted: 2011-12-14 00:41:44

This is a very usual situation for so many non-EU nationals who emigrate to EU countries to study, masters or a doctorate level. The main point of imperialistic forces is to use the youth, energy and intellectual power of people from less developed and former colony countries. And what happens after wards? Those students (I am talking about PhDes mostly) are forced to go back home where their chances to get a job, after loosing connections and being overqualified, are often even less than they were before going abroad. But everyone must realize that the capitalism and rules of the West are seriously bad, I dare say, one of the worst social arrangements ever. So when deciding going abroad, be aware of these facts. EU countries do not need emigrants, apart of using them to strengthen their economy and science and then buy, buy.

Ceca posted: 2011-12-14 00:58:17

So people...be smart. What this means - in many cases to find a native partner - I am aware of how this sounds, but in the end, if the main goal of imperialistic forces is to exploit poorer countries minds, then why those minds would not be allowed to exploit imperialistic forces. In short, your position in the foreign country will not be improved only by your educational skills... Sad, but true, I know many women from my country (East Europe) who are great in science, but successful only because of their native/EU and powerful husbands and their connections - without that - well maybe if they were next Einsteins, but even then... Sad, very sad, but TRUE.

Y posted: 2012-01-04 10:59:11

Dear ALL, I was so disappointed that i finally google if there is a problem with me , my master, my skill or something else and happen to read the whole article and comment above. I will confirm that these people discussing above have 100% reason. [Edited by moderator] Fortunately i have some freelancing projects to be able to sustain. I am in brussel nearly 6 months and still looking for a job in php here. Some friends who have contacts have already secured a job. [Edited] Lets hope to see some changes...

Wouter posted: 2012-01-09 16:03:00

Yeah...

OFICIALLY, being native cannot be a job requirement in Belgium, but if a foreigner is rejected for a job, it's impossible to proof that being a foreigner was the reason to be rejected, even though it's often obvious. I used to know a guy, born here in Flanders from Arab parents. He also had an Arab name. He spoke Dutch perfectly, was entirely familiar with Belgian habits and stuff, he felt Belgian. He had a very hard time finding a job. For years kept sending application letters, until he was sick and tired of it and changed his name to Bart (a typically Flemmish name). After that, he found a job in less than a month.

Milyv posted: 2012-04-27 22:23:58

I am also non-EU Citizen and have two masters from two recognized univeristies in the Netherlands. I have been applying to several jobs in Brussels for months and eventhough I have the perfect profile for those positions, I have never received any reply. When I finished my first master I though I could get a job, but again the same story.

I feel giving up, but I am married with a EU citizen, so I guess I will have to change my name in order to get a job

Ann posted: 2012-05-15 21:16:21

hallo allen
ik ben Begische, en zoek al 20jaar naar een (vaste) job.
tijdelijke jobs kan men krijgen, van 1week, 1maand, tot
maximum 6maand. (dit doe ik al 30jaar)
nu alweer 2jaar zonder job , zelf met de hulp
van VDAB, enz... OOK VOOR BELGEN IS ER GEEN WERK !!!
Waar kan ik heen ?

Ana Barroso posted: 2012-05-27 23:46:34

Hello I was just searching in the internet for information about British Expats in Belgium as my family is there and I am thinking of moving there. I am Portuguese and I live in UK for 8 years. But after reading all the coments for the editor about his comments I was preplexed and decided, No I have to speak. What most people [edited] are saying IS NOT TRUE AT ALL. If there is one thing Europe, Belgium more treasures and gives total priority IS SKILLS AND EDUCATION. I am European and I know that the highest Education score,grade, the more prestigious Education school/University you have had the better, that is how it works in Europe. The best ones with the best highest grades and only the best and knonw University are picked for the best companies, THIS IS A FACT. IT HAPPENED TO MY BROTHER. Is has been like this circle for centuries and part of the Educational system and that is why so many kids and adutls fight for grades and Universities like dogs and study until they drop dead, really applying themselves, something that doesn`t happen here or outside of Europe and that is why other people do not understand this way of being and do not understand either why they are more mature, go getters, self motivated, with a can attitude, with a real picture of goals anf life in their heads and ready to assume real life [edited], more independent, freedom of voice and choice, smart, ready to take on life challenges, konwing what they want , who they are and where to go, what road, with hardship and work to pay colleges we became stronger, knowledgeable, self suficient and learn from one little breadcrump to make one big meal. AND THAT MY FRIENDS AND READERS IS THE DIFFERENCE, LIKE OR NOT OF SUCCESS AND WORKING TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS NO MATTER, TO FIGHT FOR THEIR CORNER AND IN TOTAL CONFIDENCE. My brother is in Belgium, Ghent for 7 years and went from a excellent independent University - Biotechnology in Portugal as a sandwich course degree as a program and he did work his butt off for the best grades and worked in bad conditions for his projects until one day after he finished his degree his efforts and hard work was noticed by a known company and man that offered him a job after his work placement, he took it immediately knowing that the job was less and not even for the degree specialist that he wanted but he said yes, was Money and Experience, a chance TO LEARN THE LANGUAGE, FLEMISH, IMPORTANT PEOPLE AND NEW WORLDS AND DOORS. He worked his ass off, under terrible weather conditions, working outside with 10 degrees below zero with deadlines and motivating himself and all the other man, just like the army and he did the Belgium Royal Marina compound , managed it, worked on it and helped to design it for a couple of Euros but the reward was excellent references, for the first job, paid him Flemish lessons and controls the language totally like Dutch, opened doors to the most pretigious companies and after a couple of years ans specializations he is now managing, liaisoning with the best Eco Energy Companies in the world, Nuclear Technologies, Oil Companies Consultations Advice and back then he many times walked home on foot, many days could afford to much food and lived with his school mates to save on rent. Today he lives in one of the biggest apartments across the Ghent river luxurious part that he ownes and flying intenationally and people pay him for advise. SO PEOPLE AS YOU CAN SEE [edited by moderator] IF YOU WANT SOMETHING SO BAD YOU APPLY YOURSELF ? FIRST BE POSITIVE MIND AND VISUALIZE YOUR GOALS, WHAT YOU WANT AND WHAT YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO BE THEN YOU BE 100% CREATIVE TO CREATE THOSE CHANCES AND DOORS EVEN PICKING UP BAD JOBS, IS NOT I TELL YOU BY SITTING ON YOUR BACKSIDES DAY AND NIGHT AND PROCRASTINATION. JUST LIKE THE AMERICANS, YOU WANT IT , GO GET IT, WORK FOR IT, DREAM IT, YOU DO NOT HAVE IT, YOU CREATE IT, USE INOVATIVE WAYS AND IDEAS TO FUND YOUR DREAM EVEN PUT YOURSELF SLEEPING ACROSS YOUR TARGET COMPANY, BUSNESS IF YOU HAVE TOO, CREATING FRESH APPROACHES; Me I survive in UK for a long time by creating the chance given by the Government to create my own job, Be a BusinessWoman and happily and by doing what I love.

Yve posted: 2012-06-22 00:54:30

dear Ana, I am married with a third country national. Let me explain to you how things work in Brussels. I work everyday in the government field, I know people in the business world. [Edited by moderator] it is not about the marks since my wife has been sending applications for even internships and marks are not a requirement within the application; It is not about the university you have studied ; it is not what u know it is WHO you know. [Edited.] I prefer to leave to her home country at least there people appreciate their effort to improve their educational level.

Alfia posted: 2012-07-18 12:39:34

Dear Ana Barroso,

Thank you for your inspiring words! Sounded like a speech in some training course, but that is what I need now. If you want, you can!
I am not looking for a job in Belgium yet, me and my husband plan to move there a bit later, but I have similar situation now as many other people who complain now here in this blog. I am looking for a job in Spain, it is quite difficult, and i feel sometimes like giving up.
But you are right, in spite of all the discrimination and feelings that you never will get a job, you just need to struggle and have clear goals.

Also my admiration to you as a woman who is managing her own business! It is also in one of my plans!

Good luck to everyone!

BelgianGirl posted: 2012-08-25 19:45:48

I am 19 born and raised in Belgium, my mom has a uni diploma aswell and no job either... Been searching for 20years atleast aswell... In Belgium there's just a shortage of jobs; you either know some important people (that my mom doesn't know) or you choose a very very needed job, otherwise there are no jobs out there, no matter what race you are... Althought gender has got an effect: more females than males are unemployed and a lot of employers will choose a young male over an older female. Reason I'm studying medecine (always needed) ... Belgium just has too many people for such a small area... I wish it wasn't like that, I really want my bf to find a job here but it won't be easy... It's not easy for natives and it's not easy for others either but belgians are not racist, [Edited by moderator]. If you dont know anyone you really just cant expect to get any kind of job... belgium is too small to need many people

a smart non-EU resident posted: 2012-09-13 12:49:33

Dear Readers, Author, Fellow Residents ...

It is very interesting to read all the above opinions, experiences and opportunities. i have been living in Europe for 3 years now as a student. I have studied and research on EU politics in various areas of food, security, employment, foreign policy, immigration ...etc.

What i have observed that EU is open for various kinds of immigration but ... 1) a person cannot get a working visa from a non EU country unless you are an exceptional Scientist or Technologist 2) EU is wide open to non EU students in the recent years ... but the job market is very conservative both social and legal reasons play a role. 3) Officially any kind of discrimination for any citizen is intolerable ... and unofficially companies or organizations only want EU citizens due to various burdens imposed on them (in case of non EU) such as employment laws (lengthy process of proving non availability of EU national for particular job), Tax (too many conditions), social pressure from certain groups ... etc.
Practically from an Non EU resident view its like this "do your research and help develop us. we pay you for that and then you move on ...." Thats the deal.
I have seen non EU citizen get a job here especially in Germany ... and i have also seen Non EU citizens or Easter EU Nationals or EU nationals with foreign origins face problem in securing a job... especially in the areas where politics is active.

On of my research subjects an expert in regional and political integration in EU made a specific comment indicating some thing like this ... EU is very advanced in education, economics, technology and living conditions ... but there are a few groups or secs of population where the social and ideological views of a society are most conservative than many other underdeveloped countries.

My point is its changing phase in EU and all of Europe .... It has its gains and consequences.

Arianne Pollet-Brannen posted: 2012-10-23 00:01:28

All of you... come to Canada! If you have the right educational background
you will get a job no matter what colour your skin is or what religion you have. If anyone dares to deny you a job because of the aforementioned they would be in big doodoo! There is lots of room here for people with a good education as well as tradespeople.

wynesam posted: 2012-11-06 15:47:21

Just want to share my story..I'm an Asian married to a Belgian. Left my warm family, good job, great collegues,good social life...In my country I used to work as graphic designer for mor than 10 years. Since I moved here, life has not been simple,even finding a job. I first learned Flemmish for 1.5 years, then learned how to drive since public transport is not very accessible. Learned to cope up with homesickness.. We live in Limburg which makes it more difficult for me to find a job as a graphic designer. Here they offer more technical/mechanical jobs. I moved here in 2006, and in 2009 I was able to find a job as a graphic designer! My boss by the way is not Belgian, but a Dutch :-) He told me before that he knows the good reputation of Asians as workers and he also wanted to give me a chance to prove myself. And he said that he made the right decision. But sad to say the company went bankrupt early this year.. And now it's again a struggle to find the job I desire. That's why I'm thinking of taking a course from VDAB to broaden my chance in finding a job, even if it's not really my ideal job, which is sad. Or maybe search for a job in Holland coz there they are more open to English-speaking workers..Compared to life backhome,there I have more chance to work rightaway. But in life we have to make choices,and me

greenfish posted: 2012-11-12 01:14:38

After all these posts I get the idea that the chances to find a job in Belgium are grim. Don't even what to think of moving anymore. Is it really that bad and depressing? Anyone has anything positive to say?

Rahat posted: 2012-12-15 14:33:43

[Edited by moderator. Please post (elaborate) questions on Ask the Expert or on our Forums. If you have questions for the Expatica staff, please contact us directly.]

chris posted: 2012-12-28 23:57:04

i really want a job in belgium im so in to cycling thats why i want to move there i have applied in south africa and after 6 years in oz im just desparate to live in belgium im so in love with the way it is there so relaxed not anal like oz or uk

Non-Eu resident posted: 2013-02-06 01:53:58

I've been working in belgium for english speaking companies to start with. With extensive experience in top notch companies, i have been only able to get 1 interview in 7 months. The jobs that advertise dutch/french as asset too find that is the min requirement during screening. Well in this hope, my french language increased to level where i can use it in work, but now i need to be trilingual to secure an interview. Hmmm. Hope to continue the efforts to reach there.

AH posted: 2013-02-18 01:06:33

These people that complains about everything..... they say that are very professional and they lost a lot of opportunities.....why they do not do a new business in a good way? or they are waiting for daddy to do that for them!

Lazy people always complains about everything and they are unable to do nothing all their life.

This world new good people!

Cristy posted: 2014-03-07 19:34:14

After reading all the comments stated above, i feel a bit nervous and sad. I am married with a belgian guy, we are living in lommel for 5 mos. but sad to say, as the rules for expats or anybody who happened to marry a citizen here has to undergo a 3 mos program, where u will be teach to learn some basic in their language, which is good and beneficial. But, the sad thing was, u are not allowed to go out of the country for six months and work. U have to follow the course on language for 3 mos also. My mom died, and becoz of the rules i can't go home. I feel really hopeless. But, i have no choice. I have to mourn here not seeing my dead mom back home. Everything seem hard to get here, follow the rules, learn the language, work, work and work. But, i am still positive that after my class here, and learning the language, good things will follow since my visa application inspired me with it's fast approval. Goodluck to all.

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Looking for work in Belgium

This handy guide from Expertise in Labour Mobility includes how to write a CV, application procedure, interview dos and don'ts, Belgian management culture.

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