Global Alerts

Belgium – 2019 Minimum Salary Increases for Work Permits

Minimum salary requirements for Type B work permits and Blue Cards will increase from January 1, 2019.

Minimum Salary Thresholds

The Belgian government annually increases its minimum salary requirements for foreign nationals in line with inflation. The new salary thresholds effective January 1, 2019 will be as follows:

  • For highly qualified workers applying for Type B work permits: EUR 41,739 (up from EUR 40,972 in 2018);
  • For senior management and executive-level foreign nationals applying for Type B work permits, or work permit exemptions: EUR 69,637 (up from EUR 68,356 in 2018);
  • For Blue Cards: EUR 53,971 (up from EUR 52,978 in 2018).

The Ministries will only issue a fast track work permit B or Blue Card if it is clear that the employee’s salary will meet the threshold amount.

The Ministries will only take into account amounts that will definitely be paid in consideration for the employee’s work: a discretionary bonus cannot be taken into account when processing the work permit application; COLA (Cost of Living Allowances) as well as most other allowances are not taken into account either. Some benefits in kind can, up to a certain extent and if clearly mentioned and assessed/quantified in the employment contract/assignment letter, be taken into account.

Furthermore, correct salary payment will be crucial for a work permit renewal.

Single Permit

The Single Permit, which may be implemented as of January 1, 2019, will authorize work and residence for more than 90 days as a single residence permit. Paper work permits for longer than 90 days will not be issued. For short term applications, 90 days or less, the current system of the dual permits will continue to apply.

Action Items

Employers should review the salaries of any current and future foreign national employees sponsored for Type B work permits in Belgium.

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