Summary of the Issue – After much lobbying, the Belgian government is taking actions to reform the single permit application process with the goal of improving processing timeframes. Implemented on January 1, 2019, the single permit application allows non-EU employees to work in multiple branches of an EU-based multinational company. The single permit replaced a two-sided process for obtaining residence and work permits each with their own rules and procedures.
Policy Reform – The reforms focuses on increasing the number of immigration bureaucrats, streamlining internal processes, and taking advantage of technology efficiencies.
Impact – Upon implementation, the reforms promise to expedite immigration processing by allowing single permit holders (including first-time applicants, renewal applicants, and those changing employers) to start or continue employment upon approval of regional authorities. First-time applicants must still obtain approval from federal authorities, but can begin working upon approval from local authorities.
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