What is the change? Salary thresholds for highly skilled foreign employees, executive-level personnel and EU Blue Card holders will increase Jan. 1.

What does the change mean? The 2018 gross annual salary minimums for B permits will be €40,972 per year for highly skilled employees and €68,356 per year for executive-level personnel. The new salary minimum for EU Blue Cards will be €52,978 per year.

  • Implementation time frame:  Jan. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: B work permits for highly skilled employees and executive-level personnel; EU Blue Cards.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals coming to Belgium to work on EU Blue Cards or B work permits for highly skilled employees or executive-level personnel.
  • Business impact: Companies should take the new salary minimums into account when planning their budgets for the 2018 calendar year.

Additional information: The 2018 salary thresholds are approximately 2.1 percent higher than the 2017 rates (€40,124 for highly skilled employees, €66,942 for executive-level managers, €51,882 for EU Blue Card holders).

Only money that employees are guaranteed to receive can be taken into account when considering salary minimums. Discretionary bonuses and cost-of-living allowances cannot apply, though some in-kind benefits can be, depending on the precise circumstances.

The salary minimums apply throughout Belgium, no matter whether the work permits is processed in Flanders, Brussels or Wallonia.

BAL Analysis: Employers should be sure follow the new salary requirements for foreign workers in 2018. Applications that do not meet the salary thresholds will be rejected.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Belgium. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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