This GMS Flash Alert reports on an increase in the additional contribution for the processing of certain Belgian visa type D applications and residence permit applications.
Belgium’s Council of Ministers has raised the additional contribution for the processing of certain Belgian visa type D applications and residence permit applications. The increased contribution – which ranges from EUR 200 to EUR 350 – applies starting 1 March 2017, and is in addition to the consular fee.1
Moreover, there is also an increased contribution tied to visas based on family reunification.
Due to the increase in the contribution for certain Belgian visas type D, employers should bear in mind the additional costs related to employment-related transfers of employees to Belgium; and for those who are self-employed, coming to work in Belgium will carry higher costs. Not only will employees and self-employed individuals be hit by the increase in contributions, but the additional contribution related to the family reunification visa will go up.
Employers should be aware that these new contributions will affect not only the costs of applications for their employees, but also, potentially, the timing related to the processing of those applications.
As mentioned in our GMS Flash Alert 2015-039 (17 March 2015), non-European Economic Area (EEA) or non-Swiss nationals who want to travel to Belgium should acquire, in principle, a Belgian visa or residence permit. If they intend to reside in Belgium for a period longer than 90 days, they have to obtain a long-term visa (visa type D) before coming to Belgium.
The new amount of the contribution will depend on the category of visa type D and residence permit applied for.
Certain groups will be exempted from the additional contribution, for example under-aged individuals, certain types of students, EEA-nationals, and persons who apply for asylum or “subsidiary” protection.
When a visa type D ‘long stay’ is applied for, the fee due from 1 March 2017, is EUR 350 (previously EUR 215). The same fee is applicable for visa applications based on humanitarian reasons.
Applications for Belgian residence permits based on family reunification (with a non-EEA national) will be subject to a contribution of EUR 200 (previously EUR 160) from 1 March 2017.
The contribution is to be paid (in EUR) by the applicant or a third party into a designated bank account of the Belgian Immigration Office. The proof of payment will need to be provided at the time of submission of the visa or residence permit application. In the event that an applicant is unable to provide the proof of payment, the visa or residence permit application will be declared inadmissible and will not be processed. Once the payment has been made, the applicant can refile the application.
If the application is refused, the Belgian authorities do not reimburse applicants for the contribution already paid, except in cases where the amount was paid by mistake.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide immigration services.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Belgium.
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