At a Glance
- Following a policy change, Single Permit renewal applicants no longer require approval from the Federal Immigration Office in order to continue work.
- As a result, Single Permit renewal applicants can continue working if the Regional Employment Authority has approved the file, which is an earlier stage of the renewal process.
- The same expedited process applies to applicants for a Single Permit renewal due to a change of employer.
Following a policy change, effective January 29, 2020, Single Permit renewal applicants no longer need to receive approval from the Federal Immigration Office in order to continue work. Instead, they can continue working upon approval by the Regional Employment Authority, which is an earlier stage of the renewal process.
The same expedited process applies to applicants for a Single Permit renewal due to a change of employer.
A closer look
Upon approval of the Single Permit renewal application by the Regional Employment Authority, the applicant can obtain a Temporary Residence document (Annex 49) from their local town hall, which provides access to the Belgian labour market.
This applies both to applicants for Single Permit renewals who face the expiration of their permit while their Federal Immigration Office approval is pending, and to applicants whose Single Permit becomes invalid due to a change of employer.
Applicants for Single Permit renewals can continue working when the Regional Employment Authority has approved their renewal application.
Applicants who have changed employers can work for their new employer upon approval from the Regional Employment Authority.
The lead times with the Federal Immigration Office will no longer delay work rights for Single Permit holders.
This policy change is the result of a campaign to the Belgian government by Fragomen and several business organizations to promote better migration policy.
It is expected that this policy change could be expanded to foreign nationals residing in Belgium who change their residence status as an employee and to visa-exempt Single Permit applicants. Such applicants would be able to start work in Belgium in approximately one month as they would not have to wait for Federal Immigration Office approval.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.