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Need to Hire a High-Profile Non-European Worker for your Business in Belgium/Europe? What are your Current Options?

February 10, 2022

EU Directive 2014/66/EU (the ICT Permit Directive) introduced a framework for EU Member States to regulate intra-corporate transfers (ICT). With the recent implementation in Belgium of the ICT permit, global employers now have four main options for hiring non-EEA high-profile employees in Belgium (for a period longer than 90 days). The table below provides an overview of the options (types of single permit), depending on the employee’s profile and employment terms.

Please note that there are differences in these rules at regional level (the table below applies to employers in Brussels), and that the detail varies depending on which social security regime is applicable (i.e., are contributions payable in Belgium or in the employee’s home country?).

Highly Qualified Worker Single Permit

Managerial Personnel

Single Permit

European Blue Card

ICT Permit (intra- corporate transferee)

Employee profile

Employee with higher education degree (bachelor or masters).

Employee with managerial position (i.e., employees entrusted with the daily management of the company who have the authority to represent and bind the company, as well as employees directly subordinate to them in so far as they are also entrusted with daily management tasks).

Employee with higher education degree certificate (three years’ study minimum) hired for at least one year.

Managers and specialists with higher education degree (and trainees with a university degree) in the context of intra-company transfers.

Conditions

- Annual gross salary of 44,097 Euro.[1]

- Higher education degree (bachelor or masters).

- Annual gross salary of 73,570 Euro.[2]

- Higher education degree (bachelor or masters).

- Employment contract of indefinite duration or of a duration of at least one year.

- Annual gross salary of 57,019 Euro.[3]

- Higher education degree certificate (three years’ study minimum).

- Higher education degree (min. three years study).

- Annual gross salary of 57,019 Euro for managers, 45,616 Euro for specialists, and 28,509 Euro for trainees.[4]

- Employee should work in sending company for min. six months and should reside (main residence) outside of the EU.

Duration single permit

Duration of the employment contract, but max. three years, renewable (employment contract can be of definite duration (as of 90 days) or indefinite duration).

Duration of the employment contract, but max. three years, renewable (employment contract should be of indefinite duration or of definite duration of at least one year).

Duration of the employment contract, but max. three years (for managers and specialists – after three years, a switch to another type of permit is possible (e.g., highly qualified worker permit) or the employee can leave the country for at least three months and re-apply after that period) and one year (for trainees – not renewable).

Application formalities

Documents related to employer and employee must be produced (e.g., copies of employee’s passport, medical certificate, degree certificate(s), employment contract, secondment letter (if any), certificate of good conduct, certificate of coverage (in case of secondment), proof that companies belong to the same group (for ITC permit), etc.). Slightly different requirements per type of single permit (e.g., the degree certificate must be stamped (legalized) for the European Blue Card application, but need not be for the highly qualified and managerial personnel applications).

Application cost

363 Euro per worker (administrative fee to be paid upfront).

Processing time

Max. four months following confirmation by the Ministry that the application file is complete and admissible (actual processing time is shorter, four to six weeks).

Max. 90 days following confirmation by the Ministry that the application file is complete and admissible (actual processing time shorter, four to six weeks).

Max. 90 days following confirmation by the Ministry that the file is complete and admissible (actual processing time not yet clear (legislation in force only since December 2021).

Employment in other EU countries?

No, authorization to work is limited to Belgium (short-time business travel is allowed (conditions to be checked taking into account the employee’s citizenship)).

Yes, after 18 months of employment under the European Blue Card, the employee can move to another EU country to work (provided that the employee meets the conditions to obtain a European Blue Card in the country concerned).

Yes, ICT permit holders can be sent to work in companies of the same corporate group in another EU country.[5]

Employment with another employer?

No, single permit is limited to employment with the company/organization having obtained the single permit.

After two years, the employee can work for another employer (this employer does not need to obtain a new single permit) in so far as the European Blue Card is still valid.

No, the employment is limited to the companies of the corporate group concerned.

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

Emmanuel Plasschaert
Partner – Brussels
Phone: +32.2.282.4084
Email: eplasschaert@crowell.com
Evelien Jamaels
Counsel – Brussels
Phone: +32.2.214.2814
Email: ejamaels@crowell.com

[1] Amount for 2022 in the Brussels Region (subject to annual indexation).

[2] Amount for 2022 in the Brussels Region (subject to annual indexation).

[3] Amount for 2022 in the Brussels Region (subject to annual indexation).

[4] Amount for 2022 in the Brussels Region (subject to annual indexation).

[5] Ireland and Denmark have opted out of the EU ICT Permit Directive.