The Single Permit Directive (2011/98/EU) has finally been implemented in Belgium, effective 1 January 2019. Meanwhile, the Flanders region has prepared its own work permit legislation, mostly effective 1 January 2019.
The EU intra-company transfer (ICT) directive (2014/66/EU) is not expected to be implemented in Belgium until May 2019.
The single permit is a residence permit with confirmation of the right to work, applicable to non-EU nationals seeking to work and reside in Belgium for longer than 90 days.
For short-term work of up to 90 days, and for frontier workers among other special cases, the work permit type B remains in effect.
In many cases which were previously exempt from the work permit requirement, a single permit will now be required if the stay is above 90 days. However, a single permit is not required in Vander Elst cases.
Note that each region can define its own regulations and conditions for work authorisation, such as the required documents, validity or quota. Also note that some of the supporting documents for residence authorisation may take a long time to obtain, especially police clearance certificates.
Once in Belgium, the employee needs to start the registration within 8 days and will receive a model 49 form allowing them to stay in Belgium (the registration step remains unchanged).
The main changes introduced by the new work permit legislation in Flanders are as follows:
There will be a dynamic list of labour shortage professions.
Employers who may be affected by the recent changes to the work and residence permit rules and procedures in Belgium are encouraged to contact their Visa Lounge immigration specialist for case-specific advice.
For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to Belgium, please contact us.