CHANGE OF EMPLOYER IN BELGIUM

Dear all,

Good morning. I am working on a fixed term contract (3 years) in Flanders and would like to change my employer. How long does the process take to get a new work permit? Also, when can my new employer start with the process. My cuirrent work permit is valid till 2020, but it goes null when I stop working.

Last question - if I have worked for 1 year 3 months for my current employer in the 3 years contract, what is the duration that i need to keep working after submitting my resignation letter before I can stop completely?

Thanks a ton in advance!
Eagerly waiting for a response.

Cheers

Work permit - nowadays it takes upto 2-3  months as I heard, for processing of new work permit applications and also WP renewals.

About resignation, here you can find more info: https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=775590

Thank you Aneesh for your helpful response. Even if I am changing employers, it takes a couple of months for the permit to get approved? Because I read it somewhere that it takes 6 weeks and sometimes 4 weeks in Belgium. I am located in the Flanders region.

Yes, even when you change employers, the new employer applies for a new work permit, which is treated as any other new WP application.

Those timelines are the typical turn around times for WP applications. Nowadays it takes longer than that as I heard. :(

Thank you Aneesh for letting me know. So I guess it is not so smart to leave fiex term contract which exists for the next 2 years for a temporary contract of 6 months (with a possibility to become permanent in the end of 6 months).

What do you think?

Aneesh, if I am changing employers, do I need to leave belgium before my permit gets accepted? Also, can I already start to work ?

Cheers
P

You don’t need to leave Belgium. Your residence permit has validity, right ?

My residence permit is valid till 2020. But if I am changing employers, you said it takes time to apply for a new permit (3 months). In this 3 months, can I start working?

To keep the thread updated:

You can start working for the new employer only when the WP application they submit gets approved.

As you have a valid residence permit, you don't have to leave the country and re-enter. Just wait for the new WP approval, get release from your current employer in the meantime. :)

Good luck !

Great!!! Thanks a ton

Dear aneeshks, could it be that WP will be rejected?
Or even more, can WP be canceled by employer so that person will have a  valid residence permit without valid WP?

WP (type B) applications - rejection rate is very very low. I have never heard of a rejection story yet (in my known circle).

I am not sure if the employer has the provision to request cancellation of an existing WP, May be there is, but I dont know.

thank for reply, so the only (practically) reason to loose WP is when employer do no request it's renewal, correct?

Correct.

And in that case, will I have some legal period to find new employer, or I have to exit Begum just after WP (RP) expired?

You have to exit Belgium before your residence permit expires. And if you are leaving for good, de-register from the local commune, etc.

ok, great thanks for your answers!

One more case to make it clear.
Let's say I have residence permit valid till Nov 2018, and WP valid till Aug 2018.
Let's my WP will not be renewed by current employer.
Does it legally to find new employer and apply for new EP in period between Nov and Aug 2018?

Yes. You can stay in the country till the end of validity of your residence permit. You can apply for jobs and employer can secure a work permit.


Updating this thread for consistency of information:

Work permit cancellation can technically result in RP cancellation too. By law, your employer is supposed to inform the commune that your contract ended, but this is a process and some times it takes time. It is always good to consult the commune on this matter.

If you quit your job or if your contract is terminated, it is your employer's obligation to notify the ministry/commune you no longer work for them, then the ministry/commune will cancel the work permit and also cancel your residence and you have 1 month to leave Belgium. Also, strictly speaking, you are supposed to return your work permit to the commune if you are no longer working, which will initiate a cancellation of your residence permit (as you your RP is granted based on your WP). You may choose not do this and hope they will take forever to cancel.

To conclude, if all goes strictly as per process, you will lose your right to stay when your WP is cancelled. Now the interesting part is how long all this takes. It depends on how fast your employer reports the end of the work contract, then the ministry/commune takes time to process this notification.

Therefore, it is possible that during this whole process, you may stay in Belgium and find a new job, which means a new work permit and continued right of residence. (OR you may already have a job in hand when you leave your current one - well and good in such case).

Hello Priyanka,

I recently changed my employer. You only have to inform your current company about the resignation. They don't have to do anything. New employer usually would do all the process. It took me around 2-2.5 months to process the application. Deloitte who processed my application informed me that the govt agency which processes the work permit they are doing some changes to their system thus its taking much longer time than the usual.  Be prepared for process to take at least 3 months and depending on that give the notice to current employer :) . In my case, I gave notice earlier and had to wait for a month at home till I received my new work permit.
If you are on a dependent visa and working then the waiting time wont matter since you have residence permit based on spouse residence card. In case you are here on independent work permit. Your residence permit is tied to the work permit, I had a friend who had to go back to India and come back on the new work permit since he dint receive the new one in time. Plus his previous stay in the country doesn't get counted. So do plan carefully the notice period :) .

All the best.

Thanks a lot Anush. I am on an independent visa...But I am not changing employers in Belgium, but moving to a different country over all. Thanks a lot for your input though.

I wish you success in Deloitte!!

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