I’ve been wondering when is the right time is to start applying for a self-employment visa for Belgium. The main page explaining the process is here. I’ve thought it would take only about 4 months, so there would be a good bit of time
Well CRAP… just even in the course of writing this post, I found this page that says it takes a year to get the Professional card.
Those who wish to be self-employed in Belgium must apply for a Professional Card. The application process can take up to a year, and the permit must be renewed annually…
Professional Cards are suitable for the self-employed who want to work in Belgium. Cards are valid for 5 years and are limited to a precise field of practise.
Self-employed professionals from outside the EU must apply for a professional card (carte professionale/beroepskaart) in order to work in Belgium. A professional card can be issued for a period of five years. You’ll need a passport, medical certificate and a police certificate in addition to proof of your qualifications in your profession. Be sure to check with a Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country, as some professions require specific proof that you’re already established in your field.
Oh! But this Invest in Flanders Foreign Employees PDF says it can take between 4 – 8 months to get the professional card:
There is no official maximum period in which the decision must be taken. Usually, it takes between the 4-8 months to receive the professional card. If the application is refused, the applicant can appeal within a period of 30 calendar days (pg. 20)
Sweet. I’m not entirely screwed after all. Thing is, immediately after I turn in my thesis paper and docs on May 16th, I’ll have to start compiling the myriad of documents needed to get this visa.
Some other resources I need to check out after thesis is done in 2 weeks:
Limosa law of declaring self-employment activities in advance: https://www.socialsecurity.be/foreign/en/employer_limosa/home.html
Register Your Stay in Belgium: http://belgium.usembassy.gov/registering-your-stay.html
Consulate General of Belgium in New York – http://www.diplomatie.be/newyork/
1065 Ave. of the Americas,22nd Floor (entrance on 40thStr.), New York, NY 10018
Tel : +1(212) 586-5110
Fax : +1(212) 582-9657
Monday – Friday 9:30am to 12:30pm no appointment necessary
Monday – Friday 2:00pm – 5:00pm on appointment ONLY
Embassy of the United States of America
Passport and Citizenship Unit
Bd du Regentlaan 25