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i am currently working in a antwerp Belgium with a work permit B for 4 years,i have five year residence card now and leaving with my in case if i leave the company the work permit will be cancle.but the residence card remain with me or it will be cancled also? can i work as a self employee after that?

by Bhavik on 10 Apr 2010
Matthias Lommers

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Dear Bhavik,

We understand that you are currently legally residing and employed in Belgium. You are however planning on leaving the firm you currently work for and start your own business.

You wonder whether you can keep your Belgian residence permit after resigning from your current job and whether you are entitled to start up your own business.

We hereby would like to confirm that you will indeed need to send back your original work permit to the Ministry of Employment as soon as you do not longer work for the company mentioned on your work permit. Note however that in case you are in possession of a work permit type A, the work permit is not linked to an employer. With such a card you can work for any company in Belgium. In this case, the work permit does not need to be returned to the Ministry of Employment after resigning your current job.

When you stop working for your current employer, you will be able to keep your Belgian residence permit. Whether or not you will be able to extend your Belgian residence permit depends upon the basis on which your residence card was initially issued. In case you received a Belgian residence permit further to your activities as an employee, you will not be able to extend it when you do not longer work in Belgium as an employee.

In case you start your own business in Belgium, you will (most likely) need to be in possession of a professional card, i.e. a kind of work permit for independents. Obtaining a professional card can however take a few months (a few weeks in order to gather all required documents and then 1,5 to 3 months for processing with the Belgian authorities).

After starting up your own business and obtaining a professional card, you can/must (depending on the initial reason for obtaining your residence permit) file a request to change your residence status to independent at the communal authorities of your place of residence. This process will again take a few months. Once your residence status has been changed, you will be able to extend your Belgian residence permit on the basis of your professional card.

Should you have any further questions in connection herewith, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Inge and Matthias

Inge van Ammel

Senior Legal Assistant


Berkenlaan 6, 1831 Diegem

Tel / Direct + 32 2 800 71 01 | Fax + 32 2 800 70 03 | Mobile + 32 477 70 00 76 |

by Matthias Lommers on 21 Apr 2010

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