What is the change? New government administrative fees, popularly known as the “foreigners’ tax,” have taken effect in Belgium.

What does the change mean? Foreigners are now subject to the new fees as part of their applications for long term type D visas or residence permits.

  • Implementation timeframe: March 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: Long term D visas or residence permits.
  • Who is affected: Non-EEA/Swiss applicants, including work permit holders and family members, students, some researchers and EU Blue Card applicants.
  • Business impact: The additional government administrative fees add to the cost of doing business or establishing residency in Belgium.
  • Next steps: The new government fees must be paid by bank transfer, and a receipt for payment must be submitted along with a long term D visa or residence permit application.

Background: The Belgian Parliament proposed the new fees in December, citing the increased cost of administering a growing number of residence permit applications. The tax took effect March 2.

The new government fee for work permit holders, researchers and EU Blue Card applicants is €215. The fee for family dependents of work-permit holders and students is €160. Swiss and EEA nationals and their family members (with the exception of Belgian nationals’ family members) are exempt.

Along with payment, the bank transfer must include the applicant’s name, date of birth, nationality and reason for requesting residence in Belgium. A receipt for full payment must be included in the residence permit application. If only partial payment is made, the applicant has 30 days to pay in full.

BAL Analysis: Companies and their employees should budget for this new tax and make sure it is paid on time to avoid delays. Residence permit applications lacking a receipt for payment will be rejected.

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

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