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Staying in Belgium after studies


Hello Everyone,
I am new to this forum and I wanted some information from you, fellow expats. I came to Belgium for my Master studies of one year.
My residence permit is expiring in September 2016.
I'd like to stay in Belgium even after studies in order to work here. Currently I do not have any job option and i am focused to studies.
Considering that I am non EU national which is the best ways to extent my residence permit in my case? Do you have any similar experience?


as non-EU, you have zero options to stay in Belgium after your student permit expires.

You do, however, have possibilities:

1 - find yourself a girlfriend and cohabitate legally
2 - find a job and have your employer submit a request for your permit

Option 1 could ensure you residence, but don't go about this option for the sake of the permit, though I doubt you'd be find anyone willing to do you such a 'favor' (at least I hope there aren't such people in Belgium)

Option 2 is the best of all, but is rather difficult. To put it in simple terms, your potential employer would have to prove nobody in Belgium AND in the EU matches your competences, which in probable terms is not likely to be the case.

I wish you good luck, in any case.

Mar 26, 2016 23:27

Thank you for the answer Garfield,
You were very clear.
Is there anybody who had any similar experience and is willing to share?

Mar 26, 2016 23:42

Realistically, without a firm job offer, you have very little chance.
Cohabiting is an unlikely option. The authorities have clamped down, specifically where one party does not have the right to be here. They are likely to refuse an application unless you can show that you have been in a relationship for some time before you arrived here and have letters, emails, flight tickets to show that you visited each other back and forth and so on and on. Alternatively find a partner, go home and come back in a year when you can show proof of your relationship. Even then the partner will have to take financial responsibility for you so that you do not become a 'burden on the Belgian state'.
An obvious starting point is the admin department of the place where you are studying; you are hardly likely to be the first student with the same question.

Mar 27, 2016 10:20

Non-EU resident.........forget it; it won't happen without a solid job and/or a solid relationship with a Belgian who can be financially responsible for you if you have no job. And even then that might not be enough. If they can find reasons not to approve you they will.

Ditto the above posters. Your chances are slim to none. Given all of the current events migration/immigration is going to become tougher and tougher. It might even become more difficult to study here as a non-EU resident.

You can try, but I doubt they will approve you. You are one of many who want to do this.

Why not return back to your own country? Just curious.

Mar 27, 2016 22:38

Thank you for your responses. I thought should be something like job seeker visa like Germany, which students graduating in Germany are entitled for one year after graduating in order to allow them to seek a job in Germany. The reason not returning is the standard of living to my country and Belgium, because of crisis very hard to find a job in my country, etc.

Mar 29, 2016 12:44

What country are you from?

Well, laws that apply in Germany apply in Germany, not in Belgium. Too bad you didn't study in Germany.

If you attempt to do this I would recommend not mentioning that the standard living is not good in your country in comparison to Belgium as a reason for staying here especially if you are trying to do this unemployed with only a student status here. You will be immediately flagged as an economic seeker, which is frowned upon and I know for sure you will be denied as the system here is being overburden with people who are just here for economic reasons without jobs and are looking for jobs meanwhile they are being supported by the government. There is crisis here too and the country just can't keep accepting people coming here for a better life. You may have just as much difficulty finding a job here just like in your country especially if your degree or training isn't in high demand here.

I recommend you do some serious research and find EXPERTS to talk to about what is possible and what isn't possble before you do anything else.

Again, if you can't find employment and/or you have no relationship with a Belgian, then be prepared to return back to your country of origin. The odds are stacked very high against you. I have met people like yourself and they attempted to stay here and they are no longer here.

Mar 29, 2016 17:38
Anna Anna

You could register another Master program.

Apr 1, 2016 21:49

Find a job in IT or any other sectors that are in high demand. I highly suggest in IT and even if you didn't study IT, you could still eye for some generic IT positions e.g. business analyst. High demand jobs where Belgians cannot do are quite a lot. If you have a friend working in HR, (s)he can tell you which category they are. An experienced HR person can obtain a work permit around 2 weeks.

I heard Belgium was considering a job seeker visa for local graduates (to follow the neighbours). But you know yourself that everything in this country moves very slow, so don't hold your breath.

Also, it's easier to enter this country if you're a certain origin, use family reunification visa and then don't work but take social security allowance, forming ghettos and dangerous areas in the country. So, I feel sorry for skilled people who've invested their money to study in Belgium. Next time, don't do that if your intention is to stay, choose elsewhere :). At least those with established talent migration or point-based system.

Sep 11, 2016 07:56

Hello Edi.

How did it finally go? Did you manage to stay? I was thinking that it might be enough to go out of the EU and back to have the normal tourist visa for 3 months which can allow you to have more time to search for a job? They told me this in the Commune.

Let me know please.

Aug 28, 2017 22:44

How did it go Edi? Im intersted to know what option did you take. Thanks.

Jul 16, 2019 22:24