Recent changes to the Belgium foreign work permit rules - | Hudson McKenzie

Recent changes to the Belgium foreign work permit rules

February 23, 2021 | Business, Immigration, News, Travel

Changes to the foreign worker rules in Flanders have been announced by the Belgium government which will come into force on 1st March 2021.

The changes are said to simplify the bureaucracy involved in the immigration process for foreign workers in the Flanders region of Belgium. 

Key changes:

  • Short term work– a worker who commutes to Flanders for short-term work will be able to apply for a “Work Permit B” which will be valid for 90days within a 180day period. This visa route will open in March. 
  • Frontier workers– Prior to the frontier worker visa route opening, there was no express legislation regulating frontier workers. This allows those people who are residing in a neighbouring country with Belgium to apply for a work permit for Belgium. This will help to distinguish between those short term foreign workers and those workers who need to enter Flanders for work coming from bordering countries. 
  • Labour market test– As of March 2021, there will be no requirement for a labour market test for renewal applications with the same employer. Prior to this rule change, Belgium authorities could exercise discretion as to whether the labour market test was required to renew applications. This change will allow employers a level of certainty for future applications.
  • Business travel for UK nationals– For UK business travellers, there will be more flexibility for those engaging in business activities without requiring a work permit for visits up to 90days within a 180day period. 

Changes for UK nationals in Flanders since Brexit

Since 1st January 2021, UK nationals can no longer benefit from free movement meaning they will need to apply for a work permit to work in Flanders. There are different permits available depending on the reason for working in Flanders.

Should you have any queries regarding the above information or if you require assistance with your corporate, employment or immigration matter, please get in touch with a legal professional at Hudson McKenzie via email at or by telephone +44(0) 20 3318 5794.

The information provided does not amount to legal advice.