What is the change? Belgium has raised the 2014 minimum salary for the European Union Blue Card.

What does the change mean? To qualify for the EU Blue Card, holders must now earn at least €50,974.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediately.
  • Visas/permits affected: EU Blue Card.
  • Who is affected: Employers planning to renew or initiate participation in the EU Blue Card program in 2014.
  • Impact on processing times: None.
  • Business impact: The higher minimum will impact costs for businesses employing EU Blue Card holders.
  • Next steps: Some employers may need to adjust salaries to comply with new or renewal applications for the EU Blue Card.

Background: A royal decree published in the Belgian Official Journal on Jan. 24, 2014, provided a new formula for annual adjustment of the Blue Card salary threshold. The new formula raises the minimum salary requirement for foreign workers participating in the EU Blue Card program from €49,995 to €50,974. While the new threshold has not yet been officially confirmed, it is safe to assume that it is currently in effect. Going forward, those applying for new or renewal Blue Cards who do not meet the new minimum salary may be rejected.

BAL Analysis: Governments periodically adjust minimum salary requirements. The 2014 minimum salary represents a nearly 2 percent increase over the previous rate.

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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