Search Year

Search Year Residency for non-EU / EEA students 

Congratulations! You’ve graduated from Thomas More and are now in possession of a top-notch higher education degree from one of our many English-taught international degree programs. You’re eager to put your years of sweat, knowledge and hands-on learning experience to work, and there’s no place you’d rather be than in Belgium! 
If this is a vision that resonates with you, then we have some great news. From August 2021 onwards, Belgium now offers a new residence permit status to international students who’ve recently graduated from from a higher education institute in Belgium. The Search Year status will extend your stay in Belgium up to 12 months so you can search for work or even set-up and launch your own business!

Thomas More is here to support you 

We are excited by this brand-new opportunity for our international students and are here to support you in every step of the way.
Over the course of the 2021 – 2022 academic year, we’ll organise webinars designed to inform you about the ins and outs of applying for the Search Year residence permit, and even discuss how to approach the Belgian Labour Market as a recent grad.  
Just like your higher education visa for Belgium, you’ll need to prove proof of solvency in order to apply for the Search Year residence permit. This can take the form of a blocked account, scholarship or proof of a sponsor (Annex 32). 
For students who want to set-up a blocked account, Thomas More is here to help. We offer blocked account services and support even after graduation. 

Want to know more?

More details about the Search Year residence permit, application process and Thomas More-organised webinars can be found on our student portal. Students must be enrolled to access this platform and information.