Belgium – Proposed Increase in Levy

On March 2, 2015, Belgium introduced a mandatory “contribution to cover the administrative costs” with regard to first requests for residence authorization, such as, visa D applications, by foreigners.  Work permit holders must pay a levy, amounting to 215 €, as well as their family members, 160 €.   Many foreign nationals, such as EEA, Swiss citizens and their family members are exempt from requiring to pay the levy.

Mr. Theo Francken of the Belgian Federal Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, proposed a preliminary draft bill, allowing municipalities to receive a similar contribution for the renewal, extension, or replacement of some residence permits.

Currently, the request to renew, extend, or replace a Belgian residence permit must be filed with the municipal authorities of the town where the foreigner resides. The new contribution, which will have to be paid on top of the administrative fees for the processing of the new residence permits, is considered an equitable compensation for the administrative services offered by the municipalities.

The contribution would, in any event, be due for the renewal, extension, or replacement of a residence permit type A, which is a type of residence permit valid for a definite term and is held by work permit B holders, as well as most of their family members.  The maximum amount of the contribution, which could only be received once per year, would be 50 €.

A second version of the preliminary draft bill has been approved by the Belgian federal government on September 30, 2016, and must now go through the legislative process to take effect.

The Belgian federal government met on October 20, 2016 to agree on increasing the existing “contribution to cover the administrative costs” for a first application.  The current amounts are 215 € and 160 € would now amount to 350 € and 200 €, for the work permit holder and their family members, concurrently.