European Blue Card - Application Procedure

How should the employer request the provisional employment permit?

The employer must submit an application file to the Department of Economic Migration which has jurisdiction for the place of employment, which must include at least the following documents:

  1. The specific application form for obtaining a provisional employment permit within the framework of the European Blue Card:
  2. A copy of the employment contract of at least 1 year signed by the employer, with an indication of the minimum gross annual salary of at least EUR 51,882 (for 2016 this was EUR 51,494);
  3. A copy of a diploma (confirmation that worker has successfully completed a post-secondary cycle of at least three years of higher studies that were pursued at an institute which is recognised as higher education institution by the State in which the institution is established);
  4. A copy of the passport or the residence document, depending on the place where the worker is located at the time of the request:
    • If he/she is not yet present in Belgium at the time of the submission of the request: a copy of the foreign identity card or a copy of the personal data of the international passport;
    • If he/she is already present in Belgium: a copy of the document issued by the relevant municipality not older than 3 months (Appendix 41-b).

The application file with all of the above documents can be sent by post or may also be handed in personally at the Department of Economic Migration which has jurisdiction for the place of employment.

If the file is complete and correct, a provisional employment permit shall be granted by the Department of Economic Migration within 30 working days for a period of 12 months.
 In the event of incomplete or incorrect information, the Regional administration will ask for the missing or correct information without delay. The decision period of thirty days only starts as soon as the file is complete.

 

What happens after provisional employment permit is granted?

The provisional employment permit will be sent to the employer, who must provide his employee with a copy of this permit.

The Department of Economic Migration simultaneously informs the Immigration Office of the granting of the provisional employment permit (or - in the case of a negative decision - of the refusal to grant the provisional employment permit). After all, the decision of the Department of Economic Migration is a determining factor for the Immigration Office to grant or withhold the European Blue Card.

The employment may begin as soon as:

  • The employee is in possession of the copy of the provisional employment permit;
  • He legally resides in Belgium (to be proven with the aid of a BIVR-limited duration or the electronic A-card, or a Visa D - B29, or a copy of the decision of the Immigration Office whereby the worker is authorised to stay in accordance with Article 61/27, §§2 and 3 of the law of 15 December 1980);
  • He has requested a European Blue card been (to be proven with the aid of an Appendix 41-b).

 

End provisional employment permit

End of the validity of the provisional employment permit:

The provisional employment permit loses its validity:

  •  On the day of the issuance to the employee of the European Blue Card;
  •  On the day of the notification to the employee by the Immigration Office of the decision to refuse the application for a European Blue Card;
  •  If the employee has not submitted a request for a European Blue Card to the Immigration Office within ninety days from the day of the award of the provisional employment permit.

 

Obligations of the employer during the period of employment

  • In accordance with the provisions of Article 15/4, 1° of the RD of 9 June 1999, the employer, during the first two years of the employment covered by a provisional employment permit and/or the European Blue Card, must inform the Department of Economic Migration in the event of cancellation/breach of the employment contract or in the event of a substantial change in working conditions such as those intended in the aforesaid Article 15/1.
  • If the relevant conditions are no longer being met, the Department of Economic Migration will withdraw the provisional employment permit (if this is still valid at that time). However, if in the meantime the European Blue Card has already been granted and the provisional employment permit has lost its validity for that reason, the Department of Economic Migration will inform the Immigration Office, which will withdraw the European Blue Card in this case.
  • Any further employment will be subject to the prior issue of a new provisional employment permit.

 

Renewal

The European Blue card will initially be issued by the population service of the municipality on the orders of the Immigration Office for a period of 13 months and will be renewable.
The first renewal of the European Blue Card will in principle be granted for another 13 months, subject to the prior issue of a new provisional employment permit.

In the event of a possible second renewal (and after two years of actual employment with European Blue Card), no new provisional employment permit will be required in advance and the municipal administration will be able to issue a European Blue card with a period of validity of 3 years immediately.

After 5 years of employment with a European Blue Card the person will logically be eligible for the EC residence permit for long-term residents.

The possible renewal of the European Blue Card will therefore still be dependent on the prior issue by the appropriate economic migration department of a new provisional employment permit to the employer during the first two years of the employment.

By analogy with the first request, the employer must submit an application file to the appropriate department two months before the end of the validity of the European blue Card, consisting of:

  • the specific application form for obtaining a provisional employment permit within the framework of the European Blue Card;
  • a copy of the current, still valid, European Blue Card;
  • A copy of the employment contract;
  • A copy of the pay statements for the last period of employment in which the employee worked under a provisional employment permit and European Blue Card.

Employees of foreign nationality

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