''A photo of Belgian flag flying over buildings"
Mabel Fatokun

Belgium: Here Is An Updated Immigration Policy For Foreign Workers

Beginning on May 1, 2024, the Belgian region of Flanders will update its immigration laws pertaining to foreign labour. There are some positive aspects even though local talent is prioritised! A new immigration policy affecting foreign workers is being implemented in the Flanders Region of Belgium and will take effect from stipulated date.

With these modifications, Belgian and European workers are given priority, and foreign nationals can only join the workforce after carefully analysing the local and regional labour markets.

What you should know is broken down as follows:

Prioritise Local Talent First
The redesigned strategy gives precedence to hiring Belgian and EU nationals to fill available positions. This implies that in order to obtain a permit to work, foreign employees will have to prove that their talents are indeed in demand.
Streamlined Operations
There is some good news for commercial vacationers! Under the new arrangement, many tasks can now be completed without a work visa under the category of business guest. This covers contract negotiations, conference attendance, and tourism-related activities.

Taking part in trade shows, exhibitions, conferences, seminars, and business meetings, business deal negotiation, participation in internal, customer, sales, and marketing audits
investigating potential businesses
Participation in or management of training sessions
Tourism-related activities
Services for interpretation and translation. But stays are only allowed to last ninety days out of a total of 180 days.

Stricter Inspection of Work Permits
There will be more stringent procedures involved in acquiring a work permit for specific occupational categories. employing for shortage occupations requiring a medium level of competence will require employers to show that they have actively looked for local candidates before employing.

Providing thorough documentation of employment candidates’ qualifications for the regional administration to assess is part of this.

Prioritise Experience Over Qualifications
Fantastic news for IT workers! Applicants for EU Blue Cards seeking managerial or specialised positions can now replace their degree with appropriate work experience. This is an attempt to alleviate Belgium’s lack of tech talent.

In addition, a streamlined notification process will make it simpler for holders of EU Blue Cards to change jobs within the first year.

Modifications for EU Blue Card Owners
In order to obtain an EU Blue Card, one must now earn at least 130% of the average income, which amounts to EUR 60,621. However, as long as the income requirement is satisfied, holders of EU Blue Cards are permitted to switch companies after the first year without having to go through additional immigration procedures.

"A photo showing Belgium from an angle "

These modifications are meant to expedite the immigration procedure while guaranteeing that local talent is given priority. Changes are also made to draw in qualified personnel for vital industries like information technologies (IT).

Changes to the “Shortage Occupation and Labour Market” testing frameworks are a key component of the policy revamp. These modifications include easing the educational requirements for those with EU Blue Cards or transferring within multinational corporations, as well as exemptions for specific types of work permits and tighter standards for designations of shortage occupations.
The modifications made to Belgium’s rules demonstrate a clever strategy for managing labour migration, balancing the needs of the home economy with the interests of workers from throughout Europe.

The administration is prioritising local employment, raising exemptions, and enhancing evaluation criteria in order to create a more equitable and environmentally conscious workforce in the future. Workers from Belgium and Europe will be given advantage on the employment market under the new regulations. This change reflects the government’s resolve to safeguard regional and local employment markets. The objective is to strike a balance between meeting labour force demands and ensuring opportunities for both national and EU people.


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