For workers from outside the EU, Belgium offers a seasonal worker visa providing temporary legal employment in specific seasonal occupations. Read on for a complete guide to eligibility, application process, rights and everything you need to know about the Belgium seasonal work visa.
Overview of Belgium’s Seasonal Worker Visa
Belgium’s seasonal worker visa allows non-EU citizens to come work for a limited period aligned with seasonal peak activities. It is ideal for temporary jobs in sectors like:
- Agriculture – Harvest-related jobs for picking fruits and vegetables, operating farm machinery, etc.
- Horticulture – Plant nurseries and commercial flower cultivation jobs.
- Hospitality – Seasonal openings in restaurants, bars, catering, hotels, etc.
It provides a legal avenue for migrant workers to fill critical seasonal labor gaps on a short-term basis.
Duration and Validity of the Seasonal Permit
- Valid for up to 150 days maximum in a 365 day period.
- Renewable in future years provided total stay is still within 150 day limit.
- Does not accumulate time towards permanent residence.
Applying for the Belgium Seasonal Work Visa
To obtain the seasonal worker visa, the Belgian employer must first apply for a single permit on behalf of the foreign worker to both reside and work temporarily.
The employer submits the comprehensive visa application including signed job contract, medical checks, housing proof, insurance, background verification and fees.
If approved, the worker receives a long-stay D visa from their home country. After arriving in Belgium and registering locally, they obtain a seasonal worker identity card.
Rights and Status as a Seasonal Worker
Seasonal workers in Belgium can:
- Change employers, with new permit application.
- Access unemployment benefits if job ends.
- Later apply to switch to other visa types if eligible.
But they cannot:
- Sponsor family members to join them.
- Count the time towards permanent residence status.
For those interested in coming to experience life and work in Belgium without long-term immigration, the seasonal worker visa presents an excellent opportunity. Reach out if you need guidance navigating the Belgian seasonal work visa process.