Belgium: Search Year Program Introduced for Recent Grads

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points

  • Non-EU/EEA students who have studied and received a degree of higher education at a Belgian institution and have a residence card with a status of ”student” are eligible to apply 
  • Any non-EU/EEA students who stayed in Belgium on a Student Mobility Program or received a degree in a foreign academic institution are eligible to apply
  • Foreign national looking to extend residence status in Belgium should ensure they have submitted their application at least 15 days prior to their Belgian student residence permit expiring
  • Students who are residing in Belgium during their studies using an M-card do not need to apply, as this group of individuals has unlimited access to the Belgian Labor market. M-cards apply to EU/EEA, Swiss and UK students
  • All eligible applicants must have studied in Belgium 


The Belgium government has introduced a residence permit that is available to recent graduates who are searching for employment opportunities within Belgium. The permit allows recent graduates to live in Belgium while searching for employment. 

What are the Changes? 

The Belgian labor market will be more accessible to recent graduates that have not secured an employment opportunity in Belgium.  

The Belgium labor market is taking steps to be less restrictive to foreign national students in hopes of retaining recent graduates in the labor market.  


Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.