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Immigration

IMMIGRATION
 
IMMIGRATION FOR
 
Belgium Immigration
 
Why belgium?
The Kingdom of Belgium is known for being the founder of European Union. From immigration point of view, Belgium is a beautiful country where one can find great and diverse cultures, linguistic and communities. Belgium has a stable environment in terms of economic aspect and political aspect. People of Belgium have a high standard of living and first-class healthcare facilities.

Belgium has a shortage of IT staff and thus, Belgian government readily accepts immigration applications of highly skilled IT professionals.

 

Belgium Immigration
Belgium is geographically segregated into three main administrative areas :

The immigration applications are processed in the regional capitals. Though legislation is common but the application processing system is a bit different in different areas mentioned below.
  • Southern Area : The French speaking Walloon area with Namur as its capital
  • Northern Area : The Flemish area with Brussels as its capital
  • Central Area : The Brussels area
 
Major Routes to Enter Belgium
  • Work Permit Scheme
  • Self-employment Scheme
  • The Schengen Accord Scheme
  • Temporary Residency Scheme
 
Various Belgium Immigration Schemes
 
Professional Card Scheme
Self-employed individuals can apply under this scheme. The Belgian immigration application submitted under this scheme may take a year to get processed by the authorities. Once an immigrant gets a Professional card, it can be easily renewed.

A professional card is valid for a single area of occupation. Self-employed nationals of non-EU countries must apply for this type of card (carte professionale/beroepskaart), which may be issued to them for up to five years.

Documents required for applying under this scheme :
  • Valid passport
  • Medical certificate
  • Police certificate
  • Proof of professional qualifications
  • Experience certificates (in some cases)
 
Work Permit Scheme
Citizens of EU countries can legally work in Belgium without any work permit.

Citizens of non-EU countries have to have a work permit to legally find an employment in Belgium. If a candidate has a prior job offer, his prospective Belgian employer must apply for a work permit on behalf of the candidate. However, before this the employer must ascertain that no EU national or Belgian national is available to fill the post in question.

The candidate can apply for a Long-stay Visa/Residence Permit only after he acquires a work permit or a proof showing that his potential Belgian employer has applied for the same.

Application processing system is different for applications lodged by the following :
  • Trainees
  • Artists
  • Specialized Technicians
  • Au Pairs

Eligibility Criterion for Obtaining Work Permit :
  • The candidate must be hired as a direct employee by a Belgian employer
  • In case the candidate works with a foreign company, which offers services to a Belgian firm, it need not be a recruitment company. A valid copy of contract between the Belgian and the foreign companies must be submitted along with the application. The Belgian company must take the responsibility of payment of candidate’s all taxes and social security.

Three Types of Belgian Work Permits :
  • C Permit : The C permit is a non-renewal type of permit issued with only a year’s validity. It entitles the applicant to work for a number of Belgian employers. It is granted to domestic and agricultural workers.
  • B Permit : The B permit is a renewal type of permit. Under this permit, a candidate can work only for one employer. This permit has one year validity. After validity expires, it can be renewed for the same employer or same job. If the candidate changes his job (and thus, his employer also changes), the new employer must file a new B permit on the candidate’s behalf. When a candidate has resided and worked in Belgium for at least five years on the same B permit and has had his B permit renewed for four or more times, he can easily obtain an unlimited A permit.
  • A Permit : An A permit is an unlimited type of permit. It allows a candidate to be employed by any Belgian employer for an unrestricted duration. An A Permit is granted to the following types of applicant :
    • An A permit holder’s spouse
    • A Belgian national’s non-EU spouse
    • The non-EU spouse of an EU national, who is legally a Belgian resident
    • Any foreigner who has legally and continuously resided in Belgium for at least five years
 
Foreign Immigrants Who Can Claim Exemption from the Work Permit
  • EEA or European Economic Area Nationals, their spouses, descendants (who are below 21 or still dependent), dependent relatives in the ascending line and their spouses
  • A Belgian national’s spouse, their descendants (who are below 21 or still dependent), dependent relatives in the ascending line and their spouses
  • Foreign nationals who hold a residence permit
  • Foreign nationals who hold a permit for an unlimited period of time
  • Acknowledged refugees in Belgium
  • Foreign students who hold legal Belgian residence permit and can work during school holidays such as the Christmas holidays, the Easter holidays and the summer holidays
  • Students on training courses
  • Also, Apprentices employed as per the conditions of an apprenticeship or sandwich course contract

 

Qualification for Acquiring Work Permit
  • The candidate must be a highly skilled professional with monthly salary more than BGF 8200 (cGBP 1366)- if paid in Belgium- or BGF 140000 (cGBP 2333)- if paid elsewhere.
  • The candidate must have required qualifications and experience to hold a high level position for which advertising is not needed
  • The candidate must have an experience of at least 6-12 months with the service provider, if he has applied for an Assignment Permit
 
The Schengen Accord Scheme
A candidate can stay in Schengen countries for a maximum period of 90 days within any 180 days (6 months). 90 days are considered collectively for all Schengen countries within the180 day period. Belgium being a member of the Schengen Accord follows this rule.

Therefore, if a candidate stays in Belgium for 60 days within the given six months, he legally cannot spend more than 30 days in other Schengen countries within the same six months period.
 
Temporary Residence Visa
A Non-EU Citizen must acquire a Temporary Residence Visa if he plans to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days or for a period of more than 90 days within given six months.

A Citizen of EU can be issued a renewable Temporary Residence Permit. Such permit has three to five months validity. However, if he wishes to work and reside in Belgium for a long duration he must register himself with the Belgian Social Security system.

If an applicant has to immigrate on the basis of prior job offer from a Belgian employer than it is the duty of the employer to post the work permit to the prospective employee, so that the employee can apply for Temporary Residence Visa (ASP or MVV).

In order to get Temporary Residence Visa, a candidate must possess Residence Visa.
 
Registering Place of Residence
Within eight days of reaching Belgium, a non-EU immigrant must register with his local commune irrespective of the kind of accommodation he is living in (temporary/permanent).
 
Foreigner Identity Card
Within two weeks of moving into a permanent residence, the candidate must file an application to acquire a valid Foreigner Identity Card. This helps the candidate get enrolled in the Foreign Population Register. Foreigner identity cards are to be renewed every year.
 
Steps To Apply For An Identity Card:
  • The candidate, along with his family members above 21, must personally visit the town hall and get registered
  • Children below 12 are given an official 'name card'
  • Children aged between12 and 15 are either issued a “child's card” or an adult identity card