Highly qualified staff

These are people who are in possession of a diploma of higher or university education (or similar) and who earn an annual gross minimum salary.

The diploma is therefore at least at the level of a Bachelor or Master degree (tertiary education level) and must be issued by an educational institution recognised by the local competent authority (a diploma or certificate from a private educational institution is therefore not recognised).

The amount of the minimum remuneration is indexed every year. For 2017, this amount was increased to EUR 40,124.00 gross per year. From 2018 this indexed amount will be EUR 40,971.00 gross per year (for 2016: EUR 39,824.00 - for 2015: EUR 39,802.00).

For the purpose of calculating the minimum amount, the same elements will be taken into consideration as for the category of executives, namely: all sums which are known in advance (gross salary, end-of-year bonuses, double and single holiday allowance etc.) and benefits in kind such as accommodation, car etc. that represent remuneration for the work done, insofar as they are expressly and nominally budgeted and included in the employment contract (as stipulated in article 37/2 of Royal Decree 9/6/1999: "The salary amounts stated in (...) Article 9, first paragraph, 6°, (...), constitute the remuneration for work done, and are known with certainty at the start of the employment of the employees in Belgium.").
Thus the following do not qualify: the so-called COLA's ('Cost Of Living Allowances') or the allowances which are usually granted to foreign executives to compensate for the additional costs that might be incurred by their employment abroad, as well as bonuses (fees for performance or achievements, the extent of which cannot be known in advance and for which the remuneration can therefore not be determined in advance).

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