Apply for an orientation year
Have you graduated or completed your research? Apply for a search year and extend your stay in Belgium to 12 months.
A search year allows you to extend your stay in Belgium by up to 12 months. This gives you the time to look for a job or start a self-employed activity in Belgium after your studies or research.
Who can apply for a search year?
When do you apply for the search year?
Apply for the search year at the latest 15 days before your residence card (A-card) expires.
Students who obtained a diploma in another Member State of the European Union and followed part of their studies in Belgium within the framework of a mobility programme must submit their application within 3 months after obtaining their foreign diploma.
Researchers who completed their research in another Member State of the European Union and partly resided in Belgium in the framework of a mobility programme must apply for the search year at the latest 15 days before their residence permit as researcher in the 1st Member State expires. These researchers make the application to the Belgian embassy in the 1st member state of residence or to the municipality from a short or long legal residence.
How to submit an application?
Do not forget to attach all documents to your e-mail. Otherwise Migration will not be able to process your application.
After your application
You will receive an annex 15 pending your new residence card when your current residence card expires. With this Appendix 15, you can work indefinitely.
After a positive decision by the Immigration Department, you will receive an A-card for 12 months. The period you had an Appendix 15 in your pocket will be deducted from these 12 months.
The A-card allows you to work indefinitely.
An extension of the A-card based on the search year is not possible.
You can read more about the search year on this website.