Work permit exemption for family members of third-country nationals

Work permit exemption for family members of third-country nationals

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On July 7th, the Belgian Council of Ministers has approved a draft of a Royal Decree amending the Royal Decree of 9 June 1999 implementing the Foreign Workers (Employment) Act of 30 April 1999.

The amendment is concerned with the employment of third-country nationals, family members of long-term residents (i.e. holders of a residence permit type D).

Currently, in breach of the Directive 2003/86/EC on the right to family reunification, to work in Belgium, family members of long-term residents, require a work permit regardless if the long-term resident is bound by the same obligation either not.

It must be recalled that:

  • Third-country nationals have acquired the status in Belgium (i.e. after five years of lawful and uninterrupted stay) are work permit exempt.
  • In the Walloon Region, holders of a long-term resident permit issued by another Member State (in the sense of Directive 2003/109/EC), will be work permit exempt after working in Belgium, holding a work permit type B, during an uninterrupted period of twelve months, In the same context, for shortage jobs, the authorization of employment (i.e. for the first period of twelve months) will be issued in five working days.
  • In the Flanders Region and in Brussels, the work permit exemption applies after working during an uninterrupted period of twelve months, holding a work permit type B, only if the latter was issued for a shortage job. The authorization of employment will be issued within five working days.

Under the new legislation, family members of long-term residents who are work permit exempt, will be eligible for the same exemption.

Tanel Feldman

Senior Partner , Immigration Law Associates

Immigration Law Associates provides in-depth advice on rights and obligations triggered by the cross-border element of a given legal situation. Our know-how is built on an extensive experience in EU law and is supported by a network of partners across the EU. Social security coordination : • Autonomous application of the social security coordination regulations and ECJ case-law, to any situation involves a cross-border element EU Company law : • Establishment -permanent activities • Establishment -self-employment activities International Private Law : • Law applicable to the employment relationship Labour and employment law : • Freedom of movement of workers-equal treatment, access to social benefits • Employment contracts and termination of employment • Working conditions • Employee benefits • Transfer of undertakings • Authorisations of work for third-country nationals Special regimes : • Posted workers • Frontier workers • Highly mobile workers • Employment of record • Intra-EU mobility of third-country nationals


Go to the profile of Ron Silver
Ron Silver almost 3 years ago

So does this mean that as a holder of an EU Long Term residence permit granted in relation to 2003/109EC from another country I can legally show up and work in the Walloon or are there restrictions about obtaining the work permit in the first place? What if I am there as a student which gives me a work permit for a certain number of hours, after one year am I no longer restricted in my working privileges?  

And what about getting EU/EEA tuition fees at a Belgian university? Would really appreciate some more information! :)