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Residency applications for non-EU nationals to get easier
Citizens of countries outside of the EU who have been offered a job in Belgium will soon have an easier time getting their residency permits. What were previously separate procedures will in future be taken care of with one form.
The change was required by EU legislation. The idea is to cut the red tape involved for both local employers and international employees.
Currently, a work permit has to be obtained before a residency permit can be requested. Complicating the situation is that the work permit has to be obtained at the regional level, while the residency permits are issued at the federal level.
If the legislative change passes the Chamber, both permits will be requested and issued simultaneously by the region in which the applicant works. Employers will be tasked with assisting employees in filing the application. The government guarantees a turn-around time of 60 days.
The legislative update was approved today by the Foreign Affairs Commission and will now go on for approval by the Chamber.
EU citizens – plus citizens of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – require no residency or work permits to live and work in Belgium.