Belgium: Progress Towards Single Permit
The Belgian federal government has introduced legislation to enable Single Permits, which combine work and residence authorization in a single document, to be issued. However, further legislative steps are required in order for the Single Permits to be implemented. Single Permits are expected to become available beginning in autumn of 2018, but foreign nationals and employers should expect delays and inconveniences associated with introducing a new system at that time.
Single Permits are expected to become available in Belgium by the autumn of 2018.
A closer look
The Belgian government has introduced legislation to enable Single Permits to be issued to foreign workers by autumn 2018.
- Combined work and residence permit. The Single Permit combines work and residence authorization in a single document.
- Implementation overdue. The Single Permit is based on an EU Directive and should have been available by December 2013.
- Delays in implementation. Due to the division of competences between the federal and regional government levels, which share responsibility for granting work and residence permits, a cooperation agreement was needed between the two levels of government. Negotiations on the cooperation agreement created significant delays. The cooperation agreement has now been approved and sent to federal and regional parliaments for adoption.
Fragomen expects the following approximate timeline for the next steps:
- End of February: Federal and regional parliaments to approve cooperation agreement;
- March – July: Further implementation legislation developed and submitted to federal and regional parliaments for approval;
- August: Full legislative framework in place;
- September: Single Permits begin to be issued.
Impact for employers
The Single Permit will be company sponsored, similar to the existing work permit.
In light of potential delays and inconvenience during the implementation period, employers are advised to start assignments and transfers on time and to build flexibility in their planning to account for delays.
This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to email@example.com.