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BELGIUM – Transposition of EU Directives – State of Play

Single Permit – The Puzzle is Complete

The new single permit is expected to be implemented on 1 January 2019. The outstanding regulations are expected to be published in mid December 2018, once the federal and regional authorities have finalised them.

The single permit will be a residence document, valid for periods of over 90 days, which also authorises work. This means that applicants will not be able to start work until work and residence are both approved, which is expected to take up to four months. Currently, applicants can enter Belgium and start work once the work permit is approved, but before residence is authorised.

The application must include documents in support of both residence and work authorisation, and is likely to require more preparation time.

For short-term work (90 days or less), the current system will in principle continue to apply, although there may be minor changes.

Note: The Single Permit Directive should have been transposed at latest by 25 December 2013. On 13 July 2017, the EU Commission referred Belgium to the Court of Justice, for failing to fully implement the said directive (a previous referral was put on hold in April 2016).

Intra-Corporate Transfer (ICT) and Researchers Directives – A Step Forward

On 19 October, the Council of Ministers agreed on the submission to the Cooperation Committee of a draft cooperation agreement between the Federal State, the three regions (Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels) and the German-speaking community, implementing the Cooperation Agreement on the coordination of policies for the granting of work and residence permit authorisations to third-country nationals.

The Cooperation Committee is composed of ministers from the federal government and the governments of the Communities and Regions, and debates issues that require collaboration between the different levels of legislative power.

The draft cooperation agreement lays down the specific arrangements for the implementation of the Cooperation Agreement of 2 February 2018, and partially transposes the ICT Directive (2014/66) and the Researchers Directive (2016/801).

Note: The ICT Directive should have been transposed at latest by 29 November 2016 (reasoned opinion addressed by the Commission on 4 October 2017). The Researchers Directive should have been transposed at latest by 23 May 2018 (formal notice addressed by the Commission on 19 July 2018).

Seasonal Workers Directive

On 19 July 2018, the EU Commission referred Belgium to the European Court of Justice for failing to fully implement the Seasonal Workers Directive (Directive 2014/36/EU).

The Seasonal Workers Directive should have been transposed at latest by 30 September 2016

Action Items

  • Employers who may be affected by the upcoming changes to the work and residence permit rules and procedures in Belgium are encouraged to contact their immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Immigration Law Associates and Praetica.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2019 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.