Author: Lieve Hendriks (Van Havermaet)
Publication date: 06/08/2018
If an employer wishes to engage a non-EU national for the Belgian market, he must ensure that both residence and employment in Belgium are in order. As the competences in Belgium in this area are still spread over the federal government and the regions, it takes a lot of time and effort to fulfil all formalities. In order to facilitate the employment of non-EU nationals Europe obliges the EU Member States to introduce a single permit (=residence and work permit).
For Belgium this means that if the non-EU national will reside and work for more than 90 days on Belgian territory, the single permit procedure will apply. The application is submitted to the Economic Migration Service. After examining the file, the Immigration Department will issue the ‘single permit’. The electronic residence card will contain a reference to admission to employment. Paper work permits will no longer be issued.
However, for a stay and employment of 90 days or less, the existing procedure (old procedure) of two permits will continue to apply.
WORK PERMITS A AND B (MORE THAN 90 DAYS): NEW PROCEDURE
If the period of residence and employment is intended to exceed 90 days, the single permit procedure shall apply. The application contains both the documents relating to employment and the documents relating to the stay. The single permit will include both admission to work and admission to stay. As a result, paper work permits will no longer be issued for these applications. The single permit contains a reference to admission to work.
WORK PERMITS B (MAXIMUM 90 DAYS): OLD PROCEDURE CONTINUES TO APPLY
If the person concerned is not exempted from the requirement to have a work permit, a paper work permit shall be issued. The residence of the person concerned is limited to this short period of employment.
WORK PERMIT C SHALL BE ABOLISHED
Third-country nationals who are staying in the country for reasons other than work are issued a temporary residence document with access to work (‘single permit’), which is mentioned on the residence card automatically, so the single permit procedure does not apply to them.
ENTRY INTO FORCE
The single permit procedure will enter into force at a later date this year. As soon as this date is set, we will publish more information on the exact application procedure.
TRANSITIONAL PHASE: WORK PERMITS ISSUED REMAIN VALID
Issued work permits remain valid until they expire. A single permit shall be issued only at the time of the next renewal.