Global Alerts

Belgium- Belgium Announces Changes to Business Immigration in 2023

Third-country nationals who wish to work in Belgium for over ninety days must obtain a permit that authorizes both work and residency. Most applications must be filed from outside the country, though ‘fast track’ requests can sometimes be submitted while they are still within Belgium’s borders. With ‘fast track’ processes, one need not assess the availability of EEA personnel for the job in question. These short-track applications are commonly used if the individual is highly skilled or a manager.
A legislative amendment, which became effective on September 1st, 2020, decreased the number of types of foreign nationals able to acquire a “fast track” individual permit when living in Belgium. These foreigners include those in lawful temporary stays (up to 90 days in a 180- day interval), students in a lawful long stay (> 90 days), and researchers in a lawful long stay (> 90 days).

The difficulties in the scenario mentioned could be bothersome, particularly for families of people with single permits living in Belgium. These family members are allowed to work in Belgium through family reunification, but in some cases, they may want to switch their residence status to jobs such as a “fast track” highly skilled employee. To do this, they currently have to go and stay abroad while waiting for the single permit application to be processed in Belgium.

To address the issue and to return to the circumstances before September 1, 2020, a decree that went into effect on December 30, 2022, enables several foreigners to apply for a “fast track” single permit when in Belgium. These include family members of single permit holders, as well as those with temporary protection status, usually Ukrainian.

Ukrainians with temporary protection status in Belgium are now granted the right to transfer to a more official employee status. This can be done through the employer applying for a single permit, while the Ukrainian individual in question is currently living in the country.

Please reach out to your immigration specialist for more information.

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