Connecticut, US

Dec 02 2019

Flanders and Walloon Regions Announce 2020 Minimum Salary Level Increases

Belgium

At a Glance

  • Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum annual salary for foreign workers in the Flanders region in Belgium will increase to EUR 42,696 for highly-skilled work permits, EUR 34,156.80 for those under 30/nurses, EUR 68,314 for executives, and EUR 51,235 for EU Blue Card applicants.
  • In the Walloon region, the minimum annual salary for foreign workers will increase to EUR 42,869 for highly-skilled workers, EUR 71,521 for senior positions, EUR 55,431 and for EU Blue Card applicants.
  • Employers must increase salaries for current and new staff and notify authorities of increases for pending applications.

The situation

Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum annual salary for foreign workers in the Flanders and Walloon regions will increase as follows:

FLANDERS REGION

Permit type

New threshold

Current threshold 

Percent change

Work Permit for Highly Skilled Workers & Executives

• EUR 42,696 gross per year for highly-skilled workers

• EUR 68,314 gross per year for executives

• EUR 41,868 gross per year for highly-skilled workers

• EUR 66,989 gross per year for executives

  • 1.97%

  • 1.98%

Work permits for foreign workers under 30 years old/nurses

EUR 34,156.80

EUR 33,494

1.97%

EU Blue Card

EUR 51,235 gross per year

EUR 51,242

-.01%

 

WALLOON REGION

Permit type

New threshold

Current threshold 

Percent change

Work Permit for Highly Skilled Workers 

EUR 42,869 gross per year for highly-skilled workers

EUR 41,739

2.7%

Senior positions

EUR 71,521

EUR 69,637

2.7%

EU Blue Card

EUR 55,431 gross per year

EUR 53,971

2.7%



The exchange rate at the time of publication of this alert is 1 EUR to 1.11 USD.

A closer look

  • Existing employees. Employers of foreign nationals currently under the above categories must increase foreign nationals’ salaries to comply with the new rule.
  • Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew a permit under the above categories on or after January 1, 2020 must increase foreign nationals’ salaries to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.
  • Pending applications. Employers of foreign nationals with pending applications in the above work permit categories as of January 1, 2020 must increase foreign nationals’ salaries to comply with the new rule and must notify immigration authorities of the salary increase. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.

 

Reminders on other requirements

  • Benefits and allowances. As before, benefits and allowances generally cannot be included in the minimum salary calculation. Exceptionally, allowances that are a remuneration of services, guaranteed and fixed, taxable and indicated in the pay slip can be included.
  • Currency. As before, employers are required to guarantee the salary in EUR regardless of payroll location and/or exchange rate fluctuations.

 

Background

European countries typically increase minimum salary requirements for foreign workers by one to five percent as of January 1, to account for cost of living increases. As a reminder, as of January 1, 2019, the three Belgian regions (Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia) started introducing regional variations in immigration policy, including different salary thresholds to reflect economic differences between the regions. 

Looking ahead

Fragomen expects many more countries to publish updated salary figures in the upcoming weeks.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to beneluxinfo@fragomen.com.