September 10, 2020
Belgium: EU Intra Company Transfer (EU-ICT) Permit Update
Ahead of the anticipated October 1, 2020 opening of applications from foreign nationals for EU Intra Company Transfer (EU-ICT) Permits in Belgium, Belgian authorities have issued certain restrictions regarding applying for a single permit from within the country and the right to unlimited residency. Further EU-ICT legislation is also expected, which will impact the effectiveness of the permit in allowing holders to work for up to 90 days in other EU member states.
What has changed?
The introduction of the Belgian EU-ICT Permit is in response to the 2014 EU directive intending to establish EU-wide rules relating to ICTs. It aims to enable holders of an EU-ICT to stay in other member states for up to 90 days within a 180-day period per member state, as opposed to a total period of stay in the Schengen zone. It should also enable individuals to perform work activities for limited periods in other member states without the misuse of the business activities status.
The EU-ICT Permit in Belgium will be a combined work and residence permit and is due to be available for foreign national applicants from October 1, 2020. The permit is intended for foreign managers, specialists and trainees transferring to Belgium from their current employers outside of the EU to a company within the same group, for a period of over 90 days. Applicants must have worked for the sending company for minimum periods of time, depending on the general destination region: at least 3 months (Flanders or Walloon) and at least 6 months (Brussels), and they must not currently be resident in Belgium.
The EU-ICT Permit will be issued from between 90 days to three years for managers and specialists, and up to one year for trainees. Extensions are permitted within these time frames, however, after those maximum durations have expired the individual must convert to another single permit type or leave Belgium for at least 3 months before being eligible for a new EU-ICT Permit application.
For individuals holding an EU-ICT Permit obtained in another member state, the Belgian authorities will permit them to work in Belgium for up to 90 days in a 180-day period and will only require them to complete the posted worker notification (Limosa declaration). If they need to spend over the permitted 90 days, they must apply for a Mobile ICT Permit with the Regional Employment Authorities, as well as complete the Limosa declaration.
Favorably, dependents of individuals holding either the EU-ICT or Mobile ICT are permitted to also work in Belgium without having to apply for an employment permit in their own right.
Further to the above, the Belgian authorities have also introduced certain restrictions concerning the application for single permits being made in-country and limits to the right for permanent residency to those engaged by a Belgian company, and who are subject to Belgian social security. As such, depending on the long-term intentions of the company and employees, employers should be mindful to follow the most appropriate immigration route to accommodate their objectives.
What you need to do
For further information on the EU-ICT Permit in Belgium, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at email@example.com.