by Lieven Goossens and Anneleen Wydooghe
In a previous article we told you that the Regions and the Federal State were working on the introduction of the single permit. This single permit is the combined permit which allows a national of a non-EU country to live and work in Belgium. The procedure has now been developed in full and has been in force in Belgium since 1 January 2019. This procedure means that Belgium has finally transposed Directive 2011/98/EU.
Through the introduction of the single permit, since 1 January 2019 an employer has to follow a new application procedure if it wishes to employ a person in Belgium for more than 90 days, who isn't a national of the EEA or Switzerland. For employment of less than 90 days, employers will still have to apply for a type B work permit and an employment permit.
On paper, the procedure has been simplified; just one application has to be submitted to the Region in order to obtain a combined work and residence permit. In practice, however, more upfront planning will be required, as all documentation will have to be submitted at the same time. Once the application has been submitted, the authorised Region will check whether this is complete and will then send an official confirmation to the applicant. Within 4 months of this confirmation, the authorised Region and the Ministry of Internal Affairs will decide whether to issue the single permit. If no decision is taken within this 4-month period, the single permit shall be considered issued.
The employment permits granted to date remain valid until they expire. When these permits are renewed, a single permit will be issued to the relevant employees. Don't forget that, since 1 January 2019, employers will have to apply for renewal of this type at least two months in advance.
Do you have any questions about this new procedure? If so, please contact one of our specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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