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Hello Evelyne,
I am a Kazakhstani citizen and currently am doing a Masters Programme in Europe. Due to studying in the Netherlands during the last half a year, I have been issued a Dutch residence permit which is valid until December 2017. For the third semester I am required to undertake an internship (to complete my Masters) and I received an offer from a regional office of an international organisation in Belgium. The internship will be unpaid, however, I will be able to support myself with the Erasmus+ scholarship. It will last for about 5 months, so I will need Belgian residence permit. I have several questions.
1. Can I apply for a long-term visa and residence permit after arriving in Belgium and would I need to receive medical and criminal records certificates from the Netherlands? At the moment I am back in Kazakhstan for summer vacation, but will return to the Netherlands soon.
2. Am I exempt from a work permit in that case?
Thank you very much and I apologise for many questions.

by Amina on 31 Aug 2016
Evelyne Van der Elst

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Dear Amina,

Thank you for your question.
We must make a distinction between your right to work in Belgium and your right to stay in Belgium for a period exceeding 90 days.

1) If the internship is a mandatory part of your Master program, you are exempt from the work permit requirement.

2) Since you will be staying in Belgium for a period that exceeds 90 days, you also have to request a residence permit/visa. As such, you have the following options:
- Either you initiate your residence process at your local Belgian town hall upon arrival in Belgium. Please note that this option is only feasible if your Dutch residence permit is still valid upon arrival in Belgium.
- Or you have to request a visa at the Belgian embassy in The Hague or Kazakhstan prior to your departure to Belgium.

If you require a more detailed advice, do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Kind regards,
Evelyne Van der Elst

by Evelyne Van der Elst on 21 Sep 2016

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