Work opportunities for foreign researchers to be made more accessible

Belgian state secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor wants to simplify the procedure for attracting researchers from outside the European Union. The process should be more straightforward and transparent, says De Moor, whose decision transposes European legislation. "This way, we will ensure that researchers in which our country has invested can add value", she says.

Among other things, researchers will be able to apply for a "search year" to stay in Belgium for a year after completing their research to look for work or set up a company. They will be able to obtain a residence permit for the duration of the search year.

For research purposes, access to work in Belgium should also be made easier for non-European researchers working in a different European member state. According to De Moor, the measures are necessary to anchor innovation in our country. "The Belgian economy is very much focused on innovation, and scientific research plays a crucial role in this."

This year, 721 non-EU researchers have already received permits to stay and work in Belgium (in the period from January to August). They are working at universities or research institutes in our country.




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