Any non EU citizen whose residence in Belgium is temporary can benefit from a work permit B. The employer first needs to seek for an employment authorization for the employee. The employer has to apply for this authorization before the employee has entered the Belgian territory.
This authorization is valid for 1 year and can be renewed. The employee is only allowed to work for an employer who has requested the authorization.
To obtain the employment authorization, some conditions must be met :
- there must be a shortfall in the number of workers with the skills needed to fill in the jobs currently available on the Belgian Market;
- the existence of a bilateral agreement between Belgium and the employee's country of origin;
- a work contract must be signed between the employer and the employee. This contract must contain some specific provisions
There are some exceptions to those conditions :
- for the highly qualified staff whose gross yearly salary exceeds 38.665 EUR (2.777 EUR monthly gross salary for a white collar worker), the authorization can be granted for 4 years and be renewed for another 4 years;
- for the highly qualified staff whose gross yearly salary exceeds 64.508 EUR (4.634 EUR monthly gross salary for a white collar worker), the authorization can be granted for an unlimited period of time (this exception is not applicable in case of posting of workers);
- specialized technicians who are under contract with an employer established abroad who come to perform the set-up, start-up or repair of an installation manufactured or delivered by their employer abroad for a period of maximum 6 months.
For those categories of employees, only a medical certificate is required. For them, it is also possible to seek for the authorization after they have entered the Belgian territory.
Once the authorization is given, the employee will receive his work permit. The delivery of the work permit is linked to the employment authorization. The work permit is also valid for 1 year and can also be renewed.
See our following article on New obligations resulting from employing foreign workers.
Questions ? Please contact Group S - International Division