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Amended list for bottleneck professions in Flanders (Belgium) as from 1 September 2023

While some sectors have a staff surplus, others face structural shortages. These are the so-called ‘bottleneck professions’.

To cope with this shortage, foreign workers can be brought in. To simplify these recruitments for Belgian employers, the government introduced a procedure via the combined permit for bottleneck professions.

A ministerial decree (MD) updates the list of bottleneck professions every two years. Please note: this list differs from the list published by the VDAB (employment services).

The new list of middle-skilled bottleneck professions open to migration will enter into force on 1 September 2023.

The new list was adapted to the current economic reality and labour market situation. It now includes 29 positions.

Newly added positions:

  • Drilling and pile driver;
  • Bus and coach driver;
  • Refrigeration technician;
  • Industrial sheet metal worker;
  • Concrete carpenter-steel fixer;
  • Bricklayer;
  • Floorer-tiler;
  • Calculator in the construction industry;
  • Quality controller in mechanical and metal structures.

As from 1 September, applications for these positions can be approved.

On the other hand, the following positions were removed from the list:

  • Chef;
  • Data communication network installer;
  • Rigger assembler.

After 1 September (or after publication of the MD), new applications for these deleted occupations will no longer be possible. Future applications for these positions will have to be submitted under the ‘other’ category. Nevertheless, applications already submitted before 1 September will still be considered as if they were on the  list.

Existing licences for these positions can be renewed by the same employer after 1 September 2023. However, changing employers is not possible, even if the same position is renewed. Such renewals with another employer must therefore also be submitted in the ‘other’ category.

For questions concerning the combined permits, please contact our specialists.

© Van Havermaet International 2024

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