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  • Documents » Professional card

    If you want to work as a self-employed person you need to apply for a professional card at the Belgian Embassy in China (via the consulate in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou or Hong Kong) or, if you have a residence permit, at the municipal authorities of your place of residence.

    The normal procedure may take six to eight months. The accelerated procedure will permit you to obtain a professional card within a few weeks.

    Within five days the embassy or the municipal authorities will forward your file to the Belgian minister of SME’s. This demand is based on the quality of the manager and will authorize you to independently perform professional activities in Belgium (and in all the member states of the European Union).

    The file that has to be created has to include
    1. the certificate of creation of your company in Belgium
    2. a realistic and very detailed business plan
    3. details of your professional qualities and of former professional experiences
    4. a certificate of basic management proficiency
    It is very important that you collect all the obtained documents in the same period of time, otherwise certain documents may have expired and then you will have to apply for them again with the Chinese authorities in order for your file to be completed and treated, which would slow down the procedure.

    Your file will be examined by the administration of the Minister of SME’s who will decide if the professional card will be approved of or not after having received advice from the embassy and the Minister of Internal Affairs. If the minister approves the professional card will be issued.

    In case of a negative decision, you can appeal against it with a technical committed related to the Minister’s cabinet. This committee will give its (positive or negative advice) to the Minister. Your lawyer can represent you in this appeal procedure. If the decision is again negative, you can appeal with the State Council.

    Your professional card has to be renewed every year, for this it is essential that your company operates on a normal basis, that it has an acceptable turnover and that you hire local staff, if possible.

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