Corporate immigration in Belgium – Lexology


General framework

Legislation

What primary and secondary legislation governs immigration in your jurisdiction?

The following constitute the main legislation governing immigration in Belgium:

  • European immigration directives and regulations;
  • national legislation on economic migration;
  • cooperation agreements between the federal level and regional level regarding the procedure for the occupation of foreign workers;
  • the Federal Act of 15 December 1980 regarding the access, residency and deportation of foreigners in Belgium (the Aliens Act) and Royal Decree of 8 October 1981;
  • the Federal Act of 9 May 2018 regarding the employment of foreign employees in a specific residence situation and Royal Decree of 2 September 2018; and
  • regional legislation on the occupation of foreign workers.

International agreements

Has your jurisdiction concluded any international agreements affecting immigration (eg, free trade agreements or free movement accords)?

Similar to other EU member states, Belgium has concluded the Treaty of Rome, which provides the fundamental principle of the free movement of EU citizens and their family inside the EU (article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).

Belgium has also signed the Schengen Agreement, which aims to abolish border control between Schengen countries (signed by 26 countries, mainly EU member states).

More recently, Belgium has signed and ratified (in December 2018) the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (non-binding international instrument).

Regulatory authorities

Which government authorities regulate immigration and what is the extent of their enforcement powers? Can the decisions of these authorities be appealed?

In Belgium, the different regions (Flemish region, the Brussels capital region, Walloon region and the German-speaking community) have regulatory power with regard to labour market policy, including the employment-based immigration rules for non-European Economic Area (EEA) nationals. They can determine, for example, the privileged categories, work permit exemptions and required salary level for several categories.

On the federal level, the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration is responsible for the legislative measures with regard to legal residency in general and for all categories, for EEA and non-EEA nationals, for employees and their family members and for students and asylum seekers.

If an applicant is refused a visa, he or she can submit an appeal with the competent authorities.

Government policy

In broad terms what is your government’s policy towards business immigration?

In general, work authorisation is only possible for non-EEA workers if the employer can prove it is difficult to find an employee on the Belgian labour market within a reasonable time. However, for some categories of workers, such as highly qualified employees, specialised technicians and researchers, a work authorisation can be quite easily obtained if they meet the specific conditions. For business travel, a more flexible regulation is applicable as there is no requirement for a work permit for those coming to Belgium for up to 20 consecutive calendar days, with a maximum of 60 days per calendar year.

Since January 2019, Belgium has implemented the most significant changes to its work immigration landscape in the past two decades. There are two kinds of immigration permit, determined by the duration of the stay in Belgium, for acquiring work (and residence) authorisation: the short-term work permit allows stays of up to 90 days and the single permit allows stays of longer than 90 days. For the short-term work permit, the distinct procedures for work or residence permissions remain unchanged. However, the process for permission for stays of longer than 90 days has changed drastically (see question 11).

Short-term transfers

Visas

In what circumstances is a visa necessary for short-term travellers? How are short-term visas obtained?

When a non-EEA national wants to enter Belgium for a short-term stay (ie, a maximum period of 90 days within any given period of 180 days), he or she must possess a Schengen visa, type C.

The need for a type-C visa, however, depends on the nationality of the individual concerned. EU Regulation No. 2018/1806 provides a list (Annex 2) of all nationals who are exempted from this obligation for a short stay within the Schengen area (ie, citizens of countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan and the United States can enter Belgium for a short stay on the basis of their national passport).

The most common types of short-term Schengen visa are the business visa, the tourist visa and the visa for family visit. A Schengen visa must be obtained at the Belgian embassy or consulate in the country of the applicant’s last official residence. The required documents need to be submitted as early as possible, preferably three to four weeks before the actual departure date.

A short-term Schengen visa for business reasons (business visa) does not mean that no work permit would be required (see question 11).

Restrictions

What are the main restrictions on a business visitor?

Belgian legislation allows for an exemption from the obligation to hold a Belgian work permit for individuals coming to Belgium on a business trip under the condition that the business trip is limited to a maximum of 20 consecutive calendar days with an absolute maximum of 60 working days per calendar year.

When strictly interpreting Belgian immigration legislation, only ‘meetings in a closed circle’ can be qualified as a business trip. This means that, in Belgium, business visitors may only perform the following activities:

  • attend short business meetings or discussions in small groups;
  • attend seminars or fact-finding meetings;
  • visit a professional partner or prospective client; and
  • have HR interviews or evaluations.

Where the individual’s presence in Belgium involves on-the-job work, a work permit will have to be obtained, even for a visit of less than 20 days.

Business visitors who are non-EEA nationals from countries not listed in Annex 2 of EU Regulation (EC) No. 2018/1806 must apply for a type-C visa at the Belgian embassy or consulate of their last official place of residence to legally travel to and stay in Belgium during their short stay.

Short-term training

Is work authorisation or immigration permission needed to give or receive short-term training?

In principle, yes. Receiving or giving training in Belgium is considered as working in Belgium and, in principle, requires the employer and employee to apply for the necessary immigration documents.

However, when receiving training in Belgium, an exemption could be invoked if it concerns intra-group training for less than three months. Indeed, if the training in Belgium consists of mainly classroom courses and is held on the premises of a Belgian seat of a multinational group, a work permit exemption can be invoked. If the training lasts for more than three months, a single permit must be applied for.

Transit

Are transit visas required to travel through your country? How are these obtained? Are they only required for certain nationals?

As a result of the free movement of people that is applicable within the entire EEA, no transit visa needs to be obtained if an EEA employee wishes to travel via Belgium.

Whether a transit visa is needed for a non-EEA national depends on the nationality, place of residence, type of residence permit the individual possesses and even the destination country.

Third-country nationals who require a transit visa to travel via Belgium are listed in Annex 4 of EU Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 (eg, Angola, Nepal and Syria). This transit visa is not needed, however, if the individual already possesses a Schengen visa, a long-stay visa or a residence permit issued by one of the Schengen states.

The transit visa must be applied for at the Belgian diplomatic post in the country of official residence.

Visa waivers and fast-track entry

Are any visa waiver or fast-track entry programmes available?

Citizens of several nations can travel to Belgium on the basis of their passport and do not need a short stay type-C visa to enter and stay in Belgium for periods of up to 90 days within any 180-day period (see question 5). They benefit from the visa waiver for short stay. For a ‘long’ stay (more than 90 days), all non-EEA nationals need to apply for a type-D visa. There are no fast-track entry programmes available.

Long-term transfers

Categories

What are the main work and business permit categories used by companies to transfer skilled staff?

For highly skilled staff, the regional employment authorities are rather flexible in granting work authorisations. If the employees taking up employment in Belgium belong to one of the privileged categories of employees as stipulated in Belgian immigration legislation (eg, highly qualified employees, managerial employees), more flexible rules are applicable in respect of obtaining a work authorisation.

‘Highly skilled staff’ is understood to mean:

  • a highly qualified worker holding a university or bachelor’s degree and earning at least €41,739 (Brussels capital and Walloon regions) or €41,868 (Flemish region) gross per year (as of 2019); or
  • a managerial employee, who has a leading function within the company and is earning at least €66,989 (Flemish region) or €69,637 (Brussels capital and Walloon regions) gross per year (as of 2019).

Further, an employment authorisation can be obtained quite easily for the following:

  • trainees, being individuals (between the ages of 18 and 30) who come to Belgium on a local training agreement immediately following the obtainment of a diploma and earning at least the salary as stipulated in the applicable Belgian collective labour agreements; and
  • employees receiving classroom training at a Belgian head office of a multinational group.

Most companies therefore transfer or assign employees to Belgium under one of the above-listed categories so that no labour market search needs to be performed to obtain the Belgian single permit.

In Belgium, for work authorisations, no distinction is made between intra-company transfers or secondments, local hires or subcontracting employment. The work authorisation for the above-listed categories of employees must be applied for on behalf of the legal employer, and for each particular category, different documents might be requested. The procedures are, however, quite similar in all cases.

Procedures

What are the procedures for obtaining these permissions? At what stage can work begin?

There are two types of employment authorisations that can be obtained in Belgium, depending on the duration of the employment; the short-term work permit, for stays of up to 90 days, and the single permit, for stays of longer than 90 days.

Short-term work permit procedure

For local or seconded employment for a maximum of 90 days, a work permit B can be applied for with the relevant regional authority. First, an authorisation to employ a non-EEA national in Belgium, known as ‘authorisation of occupation’, and a work permit application should be filed by the employer to the competent regional authority. Once the work permit application is dealt with, the relevant regional authority sends the original work permit to the local town hall, which delivers the work permit to the applicant.

Based on such a work permit, a short-term visa (Schengen visa C) needs to be applied for by the foreign employee. Some non-EEA nationals are exempted from the need to obtain a visa C but should still respect the limit of 90 days’ stay within any given period of 180 days.

The employee can only start working in Belgium upon receipt of the work permit and having the necessary entrance documents.

Single permit procedure

For an occupation beyond 90 days, things have drastically changed in Belgium since January 2019, as the country has adopted a cooperation agreement regarding the implementation of the single permit procedure. This new immigration scheme foresees one merged procedure for both work and residence applications, resulting in the issuance of a single residence permit, which includes the authorisation to work. The single permit has modified the application procedure that leads to such authorisation but the conditions to obtain it (work and residence) remain, broadly speaking, unchanged.

The single procedure application for both residence and work authorisation is filed by the employer and the employee with the competent regional authorities (regional authority and the Immigration Office). Each authority deals with their aspect of the application and, after a maximum processing time of four months, their final decisions are notified to the employee by the Immigration Office (in the form of an Annex 46 accompanied by two positive decisions). If no decisions have been made within four months, the permits are deemed to be given and the single permit should be issued to the employee (Annex 47).

Once the single permit application is fully approved, the foreign employee must apply for a visa D, which is issued within one week of application. Upon arrival in Belgium, the employee must register at the local town hall to obtain a single permit residence card, which allows him or her to start working while waiting to receive his or her actual single permit. The single permit can be obtained for up to three years for some categories of workers (eg, highly qualified staff, leading function). Renewal of the single permit follows more or less the same procedure.

Period of stay

What are the general maximum (and minimum) periods of stay granted under the main categories for company transfers?

A work permit B has a maximum validity period of 90 days and is typically granted for short-term assignments to Belgium, as well as for non-EEA cross-border workers (legally residing in neighbouring countries but working during the week in Belgium, and returning to the neighbouring country at least once per week).

For the single permit (which not only creates the legal right to work in Belgium for more than 90 days but also provides legal residence) for highly qualified employees and managerial staff, there is, in practice, no maximum employment duration. If the employment agreement or assignment letter indicates a duration of at least three years, the single (work and residence) permit can be granted once for this period.

After five years of uninterrupted and legal stay based on employment, an unrestricted five-year residence permit (renewable without restrictions) can be granted. When employees have an unlimited right of stay in Belgium, they can continue working in Belgium without the further obligation to hold a work authorisation.

Processing time

How long does it typically take to process the main categories?

An application for a short-term work permit for one of the privileged categories of employee takes approximately four weeks to process, although the gathering of required documents may influence the total processing time. Once the work permit is granted, a type-C visa is needed, and this is generally delivered by the Belgian embassy within three weeks of application.

For single permits, according to the Cooperation Agreement of 2 February 2018, the regional authority and the Immigration Office have four months to make a decision on residency and employment. If a decision has not been received within four months, the application will be considered as successful. Once the single permit is granted, a type-D visa is required, and this generally takes one week to process.

Staff benefits

Is it necessary to obtain any benefits or facilities for staff to secure a work permit?

In general, a work permit B (maximum 90 days) or single permit (more than 90 days) will be granted provided that all conditions in respect of qualifications, salary level, employment agreement, etc, are fulfilled.

For both a work permit B and a single permit, the regional immigration authorities are also keen to receive confirmation of the applicable social security scheme for the employee concerned (ie, a copy of the certificate of coverage and an A1 document).

For single permit applications, the authorities also check whether sufficient medical coverage for the employee (and family) is foreseen in Belgium. Proof of this sufficient health insurance should be added to the application.

Assessment criteria

Do the immigration authorities follow objective criteria, or do they exercise discretion according to subjective criteria?

Belgian immigration authorities (the regional authorities, the Immigration Office, the Belgian diplomatic authorities, etc) apply objective criteria to check if conditions are met. They do have a business mindset and are open to finding business solutions. However, they always adhere to the strict objective criteria according to immigration legislation (legislation on work, single and residence permits). More specifically, the required minimum salary requirement is checked very strictly, especially in the renewal of a single permit.

High net worth individuals and investors

Is there a special route for high net worth individuals or investors?

For non-EEA nationals, it is not possible to create a special legal residence on the basis of a high (net) income alone; a work permit or single permit must always be applied for.

In the case of self-employed non-EEA investors, the legislation on work or single permits is no longer applicable. In this case, a self-employed ‘professional card’ might need to be applied for, which is a more complex and time-consuming procedure. Also, for this type of application, the proof of high income (whatever its source) is not sufficient as such.

Where EEA persons of independent means (without a professional activity) are concerned, a legal stay in Belgium could be granted under certain conditions provided that proof of their having sufficient means to support themselves is delivered.

Is there a special route (including fast track) for high net worth individuals for a residence permission route into your jurisdiction?

A residence permit for EEA nationals of independent means (without a professional activity) could be granted under certain conditions provided that proof of their having sufficient means to support themselves is delivered. A legal stay on the basis of sufficient means can be obtained rather easily. In Belgium, it is not possible to obtain Belgian citizenship merely via proof of sufficient means.

Highly skilled individuals

Is there a special route for highly skilled individuals?

For a limited number of employee categories, the Belgian legislature provides a less difficult and less time-consuming procedure to obtain a Belgian work permit or single permit. The two most common categories are highly qualified persons and managerial employees:

  • highly qualified worker: a person holding a university or bachelor’s degree and earning at least €41,739 (Brussels capital and Walloon regions) or €41,868 (Flemish region) gross per year (as of 2019); or
  • managerial employee: a person who has a leading function within the company and is earning at least €69,637 (Brussels capital and Walloon regions) or €66,989 (Flemish region) gross per year as of 2019.

There is also the possibility of requesting a Blue Card (European Directive 2009/50/EC). This procedure is not used very often in Belgium. The candidate should have a Belgian employment contract and earn a minimum of €53,971 gross per year. For the moment, the procedure consists of two steps: request a temporary employment authorisation, then apply to the Immigration Office for the Blue Card. In the near future, the procedure will change and will follow the single application procedure.

Belgium also has several specific routes for researchers.

Ancestry and descent

Is there a special route for foreign nationals based on ancestry or descent?

Ancestry on its own is not sufficient to obtain legal residence in Belgium.

Minimum salary

Is there a minimum salary requirement for the main categories for company transfers?

See question 18. Where a work authorisation is requested for employees that are not highly qualified or do not hold a managerial position, the minimum gross salary fixed by the collective labour agreement signed within the applicable Belgian joint committee must be paid.

The applicable joint committee for expatriates on temporary assignments to Belgium depends on what activities the individual (or group of individuals) will carry out in Belgium. This may not necessarily be the same one as applies to employees of the host company.

Only gross taxable salary components (basic salary, bonuses, commission, premiums, holiday pay, taxable benefits in kind, etc), explicitly mentioned in the employment or assignment agreement count in determining an employee’s gross salary for work permit purposes. Non-taxable allowances and reimbursements of net expenses do not count.

Resident labour market test

Is there a quota system or resident labour market test?

As a general rule, a work permit or single permit can only be obtained after a thorough labour market search. However, there are limited privileged categories to which this does not apply (see question 18).

A quota system as such is not applicable in Belgium.

Shortage occupations

Is there a special route for shortage occupations?

For employers established in Belgium, the relevant employment authorities could grant an employment authorisation of fixed duration if the Belgian employer can prove that it is not possible to find suitable workers on the Belgian labour market within reasonable time.

This provision is considered to be fulfilled for positions for which there is a structural deficit on the labour market and that are listed by the competent minister. This list of shortage occupations is reviewed and updated regularly, reflecting middle-skilled functions for which there is a shortage of qualified candidates on the Belgian market.

Other eligibility requirements

Are there any other main eligibility requirements to qualify for work permission in your jurisdiction?

Additional to the diploma and some salary thresholds for specific categories of professions, Belgian immigration legislation does not foresee any other specific employer-related requirements.

Third-party contractors

What is the process for third-party contractors to obtain work permission?

The entry into force of the single permit procedure has not modified the existing general principle: indeed, a work authorisation must always be applied for by or on behalf of the legal employer of the individual concerned (and sometimes by the individual him or herself). If an employee of a third-party contractor is temporarily seconded to Belgium, the legal (foreign) employer must still initially obtain a work authorisation to allow the foreign secondee to be occupied in Belgium.

It is, therefore, possible to have a third-country national employee of a contractor working on another company’s premises in Belgium; however, in most cases, a work authorisation will have to be obtained by the legal employer. The same conditions apply as for intra-company transfers or assignments, although other documents might be needed (such as a copy of the services agreement).

In some circumstances, third-country nationals employed by an undertaking established in a member state of the EEA and who travel to Belgium to temporarily provide services do not require a work authorisation (this is known as the Van der Elst exemption).

Recognition of foreign qualifications

Is an equivalency assessment or recognition of skills and qualifications required to obtain immigration permission?

To obtain a work permit or single permit in Belgium as a highly qualified employee, a copy of the employee’s diploma must be provided to the authorities. For managerial employees, however, the file can be dealt with without a diploma.

Extensions and variations

Short-term to long-term status

Can a short-term visa be converted in-country into longer-term authorisations? If so, what is the process?

If an employee holding a 90-day maximum work permit B (and visa C) wishes to stay longer than the 90 days for work purposes, he or she needs to apply for a single permit. In principle, it is possible to start the single permit process from within Belgium, although the processing time of four months must be taken into account.

Long-term extension

Can long-term immigration permission be extended?

A single permit can be granted for a maximum duration of three years and is renewable. Each year, the regional authorities of the Brussels capital and Walloon regions assess whether the single permit conditions (specifically with regards to the salary conditions) are still met in order for the single permit holder to maintain the right to work.

After an uninterrupted legal stay of five years on the basis of extended work authorisation, the foreign employee in possession of a single permit can be granted a single permit for unrestricted stay by the Immigration Office. This will then automatically exempt the employer and employee from the requirement to hold a work authorisation.

Exit and re-entry

What are the rules on and implications of exit and re-entry for work permits?

For absences of up to three months, no formalities are required. A single permit holder who leaves Belgium, then re-enters the country to resume employment and residence, must acquire a specific ‘notification of absence’ at the town hall of residence if the absence from Belgium is for between three and 12 months. If the absence will be for more than 12 months, a new single permit must be applied for.

Permanent residency and citizenship

How can immigrants qualify for permanent residency or citizenship?

Unlimited and permanent stay

After five years of uninterrupted legal stay in Belgium as an employee, a foreign employee will be granted a Belgian residence card for unrestricted stay (type B) by the Immigration Office, meaning that the residence in Belgium is no longer subject to proof of employment.

This type of residence card is valid for five years and can be extended by proving the continued residence in Belgium without the need for underlying documents and prior approval of the Immigration Office.

Employees with five years of legal and uninterrupted stay also have the option of applying for a residence card type D (for durable stay as a long-term resident in Belgium) provided they:

  • have stayed legally in Belgium for five years without interruption (periods of employment in Belgium under secondment are not taken into account (local employment is required));
  • produce evidence that they receive an adequate, regular monthly income (the amount depends on the number of family dependants they have);
  • are covered by health insurance, including cover for their dependent family members; and
  • do not pose a danger to public order or national safety.

Citizenship

The rules governing the procedures to become a Belgian citizen are laid down in the Belgian Nationality Code.

Naturalisation

Applications for naturalisation are exceptional, and reserved for those who can demonstrate extraordinary merit of a scientific, sporting or sociocultural nature and who, therefore, would make a special contribution to Belgium’s international image.

Nationality declaration

Adult foreigners can make a nationality declaration if they:

  • were born in Belgium and have been legally resident there since birth;
  • have been legally resident in Belgium for five years and have proof of social and economic integration;
  • have been legally resident in Belgium for five years and are married to a Belgian or are the parent of a Belgian minor and can prove their integration;
  • have been legally resident in Belgium for five years and are unable to exercise an economic activity owing to a disability or have reached pensionable age; or
  • have been legally resident in Belgium for 10 years and participate in the life of the community into which they have settled.

End of employment

Must immigration permission be cancelled at the end of employment in your jurisdiction?

When employees end their employment in Belgium while still holding a valid work permit, their employer has the obligation to return the original authorisation to employ and the original work permit to the Belgian work permit authorities.

Further, when the foreign national leaves Belgium permanently, he or she must deregister him or herself from the foreigners’ register at the town hall of his or her place of residence and return the Belgian residence permit.

Employee restrictions

Are there any specific restrictions on a holder of employment permission?

Yes. A work permit or single permit work authorisation is always applied for on behalf of the legal employer and explicitly mentions the name of the foreign employee, the name of the employer, the validity period and the place of employment in Belgium.

The employee can therefore only use the work permit to work on behalf of his or her legal employer at the premises of the company or client indicated on the work permit. In principle, if one of these elements changes (the employee takes up new employment with another employer, the place of employment in Belgium changes, etc), a new work or single permit needs to be applied for.

Dependants

Eligibility

Who qualifies as a dependant?

Some limited categories of people qualify as dependants: the descendants (if under the age of 18), the spouse and, in some circumstances, ascendants of the employee. Dependants, on this basis, may not earn any income in Belgium and are dependent on the employee for sufficient housing, education and health insurance coverage.

The notion of ‘spouse’ also includes legal cohabitees, provided certain conditions are fulfilled.

Conditions and restrictions

Are dependants automatically allowed to work or attend school?

Dependants can attend school. As of 1 January 2019, a non-EEA spouse of an employee (single permit holder) is automatically allowed to work as a salaried employee. The term ‘labour market: unlimited’ will be noted on his or her residence permit. This means he or she is allowed to work in Belgium for any employer. His or her legal stay is, however, linked to the employee (single permit holder).

If the spouse wishes to be self-employed, a professional card should first be obtained.

Dependants of EEA nationals are allowed to work without any requirements.

Access to social benefits

What social benefits are dependants entitled to?

The social benefits that dependants are entitled to depend primarily on their social security status in Belgium (or abroad) and are not directly linked to their immigration status in Belgium. Where the employee is subject to the Belgian social security scheme, the dependants can also be covered under this scheme for medical care.

Other requirements, restrictions and penalties

Criminal convictions

Are prior criminal convictions a barrier to obtaining immigration permission?

For work permit purposes, no criminal background check will be carried out. For visa D applications and single permit applications, however, a criminal background check is mandatory.

In practice, for residence permit extensions for both employees and their families, a certificate of good conduct is also increasingly being requested as one of the required documents.

Penalties for non-compliance

What are the penalties for companies and individuals for non-compliance with immigration law? How are these applied in practice?

With regard to individuals, if a foreign employee stays illegally in Belgium or works in Belgium without an official authorisation, he or she can be deported.
With regard to the employer or company, some specific penalties are foreseen for the occupation of foreign employees, in accordance with the Social Criminal Code. The infraction of hiring an employee who is legally residing in Belgium but without a work permit is punished by (sanction level 3):

  • a criminal fine ranging from €800 to €8,000, multiplied by the number of employees; and
  • an administrative fine ranging from €400 to €4,000, multiplied by the number of employees.

Penalties for hiring an employee who is illegally residing in Belgium and without a work permit are sanctioned as follows (sanction level 4; the highest):

  • a criminal fine ranging from €4,800 to €48,000, multiplied by the number of employees;
  • an administrative fine ranging from €2,400 to €24,000, multiplied by the number of employees; and
  • imprisonment for a period of between six months and three years.

Where serious cases of illegal employment have occurred, the Belgian authorities will consider beginning a criminal procedure. This will certainly damage the reputation of the company and its future business in Belgium.

Language requirements

Are there any minimum language requirements for migrants?

To obtain Belgian citizenship, if the foreign employee can prove that he or she has been working in Belgium for at least five years, the knowledge of one of the official languages is deemed to be proven.

Medical screening

Is medical screening required to obtain immigration permission?

If applying for a single permit, the applicant must provide a medical certificate as one of the required documents. This certificate should be issued by a Belgian or European doctor, or a foreign doctor recognised by the Belgian embassy or consulate (unless the employee has already lived in Belgium for more than two years). In this respect, the doctor declares that the applicant is not suffering from the following illnesses:

  • those requiring quarantine as stated by the International Sanitary Regulation of the World Health Organization, signed in Geneva on 23 May 2005;
  • active or progressive pulmonary tuberculosis; and
  • other diseases that are contagious or transmittable by infection or parasites.

For a short-term work permit (employment for less than 90 days or for a cross-border worker), a medical certificate is also required. This should state that the applicant is in a good state of health, with no indication that he or she might be unfit to work in the near future.

Secondment

Is there a specific procedure for employees on secondment to a client site in your jurisdiction?

Where employees are concerned, all applications are handled via the same procedure according to objective criteria.

Where secondments that are not intra-group are concerned (eg, to clients), the authorities most often request a copy of the service agreement concluded between the employer and the client to approve the work permit.

Update and trends

Key developments of the past year

Are there any emerging trends or hot topics in corporate immigration regulation in your jurisdiction?

Key developments of the past year40 Are there any emerging trends or hot topics in corporate immigration regulation in your jurisdiction?

Several European directives on economic migration are yet to be transposed to Belgian law: the ICT Directive (Directive 2014/66/EU), the Seasonal Workers Directive (Directive 2014/36/EU) and the Students and Researchers Directive (Directive 2016/801/EU). An executive cooperation agreement relating to these directives has already been concluded between the regional and federal levels.



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