IMPACT – MEDIUM

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: Companies applying for B work permits for highly skilled employees and executive-level personnel; EU Blue Cards.
  • 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.