Immigration Updates – Belgium
The Flanders Government has amended the Decree of 7 December 2018 implementing the Law of 30 April 1999 on the employment of foreign nationals.
A number of points for improvement were suggested from contacts with the business community, academia and the social partners, with a view to increased flexibility and administrative simplicity within the economic migration policy.
The suggested improvements have been approved by the Council of State (Raad van State).
One interesting improvement is that a work permit B can be issued for someone coming to work in Flanders for a consecutive period of a maximum of 90 days, but also for a period of a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days.
Also interesting, while before (generally speaking) actual presence in Belgium was not allowed before approval, now work authorisations under the shortage occupation scheme can be issued even if the employee arrived in Belgium before the authorisation has been issued.
Lastly, there is now also an exemption of work authorization for employees who are employed in a foreign company, who come to Belgium to provide training at the Belgian seat of the group of companies to which their company belongs, within the framework of a training agreement between the seats of the group of companies, provided that that their stay in Belgium does not last longer than three consecutive months. In the past this was only for receiving training.
This change of legislation will come into force as of March 1 2021.
Brexit – Trade and Cooperation Agreement – business activities
Direct application TCA in Flanders, Brussels & Wallonia Region
The Flemish Employment Authority has recently confirmed that it accepts the direct application of the provisions for short-term business travelers incorporated in the Trade & Cooperation Agreement between the EU and UK.
The different Regional Employment Authorities (Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels) have confirmed that they accept the direct application of the provisions for short-term business travelers incorporated in the Trade & Cooperation Agreement between the EU and UK.
UK nationals now will be able to engage in a more extensive range of work permit exempt activities for visits up to 90 days in a 180-day period. Be aware that the Limosa requirement will still stand so always check if you need to complete this formality.
The trade agreement provides for a number of specific exemptions from the work permit that can usually be traced back to the existing exemptions for short periods, but in certain cases deviate slightly from this.
For detailed advice on which particular business visitors activities fall under the work permit exemptions, please contact Massimo Maesen, Partner and Practice Leader Belux of Expat Management Group: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 26 February 2021
- Posted by: Expat Management Group
- Category: Insights