February 18, 2021

Belgium Grants U.K. Nationals Broader Business Visitor Rights

Belgium has announced that they will permit U.K. nationals to perform certain business functions directly based on the EU-U.K. Free Trade Agreement, opening up more permissible work-related activities than currently permitted for non-EU national business visitors in Belgium.

The three Belgian regions of Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia will now allow certain activities under business visitor status for U.K. nationals which for other non-EU nationals would typically require a work permit.

These include but are not limited to:

    • Independent research by technical, scientific, and statistical researchers
    • Research or analysis by market researchers and analysts
    • Receiving training in techniques and work practices and attending trade fairs
    • Receiving orders, negotiating a sale, or concluding sales agreements of services or goods as a representative of a supplier of services or goods (this does not include delivering goods or supplying services themselves)
    • Providing such after-sales or after-lease services as installation, repair and maintenance by personnel and supervisors with specialized knowledge essential to a seller's contractual obligation, and supplying services or training workers to supply services pursuant to a warranty or other service contract incidental to the sale or lease of commercial or industrial equipment or machinery, including computer software
    • Engaging in a commercial transaction (limited to management and supervisory personnel and financial services personnel (e.g., insurers, bankers and investment brokers)
    • Engaging in tourism services, such as those provided by tour and travel agents, tour guides or tour operators attending or participating in conventions or accompanying a tour
    • Supplying services as a translator or interpreter

Employers will still also be required to complete any posted worker notifications (Limosa) necessary for stays of more than 20 consecutive days for U.K. nationals.

What is the impact?

For U.K. national business visitors traveling to Belgium, we recommend only engaging in permitted activities per Belgian rules. Individuals should also be careful to respect the maximum stay period for business travelers of 90 days within a 180-day period to ensure they remain compliant.

For further information on the requirements for U.K. nationals wishing to complete business or work activities in Belgium, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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