On July 7th, the Belgian Council of Ministers has approved a draft of a Royal Decree amending the Royal Decree of 9 June 1999 implementing the Foreign Workers (Employment) Act of 30 April 1999.
The amendment is concerned with the employment of third-country nationals, family members of long-term residents (i.e. holders of a residence permit type D).
Currently, in breach of the Directive 2003/86/EC on the right to family reunification, to work in Belgium, family members of long-term residents, require a work permit regardless if the long-term resident is bound by the same obligation either not.
It must be recalled that:
- Third-country nationals have acquired the status in Belgium (i.e. after five years of lawful and uninterrupted stay) are work permit exempt.
- In the Walloon Region, holders of a long-term resident permit issued by another Member State (in the sense of Directive 2003/109/EC), will be work permit exempt after working in Belgium, holding a work permit type B, during an uninterrupted period of twelve months, In the same context, for shortage jobs, the authorization of employment (i.e. for the first period of twelve months) will be issued in five working days.
- In the Flanders Region and in Brussels, the work permit exemption applies after working during an uninterrupted period of twelve months, holding a work permit type B, only if the latter was issued for a shortage job. The authorization of employment will be issued within five working days.
Under the new legislation, family members of long-term residents who are work permit exempt, will be eligible for the same exemption.