Belgium Updates Shortage Occupations List

The new list of shortage occupations in the Flanders region will take effect on September 1, 2023.

If an occupation appears on the list of shortage occupations, there is no need for the employer to prove that there is a structural shortage of suitable employees in the labor market.

The current list of shortage occupations was valid from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023. However, the validity of the list has been temporarily extended until August 31, 2023.

The upcoming new list of medium-skilled occupations which are considered to have a shortage of workers, and which are therefore open to migration, will contain 29 positions.

The following jobs were added to the list: piling technician, bus driver, coach driver, refrigeration technician, industrial sheet metal worker, plasterer-iron fixer, bricklayer, floor tiler/placer of wall and floor coverings, construction calculator and quality controller of mechanical and metal structures.

On the other hand, the following positions were removed from the list: chef, installer of data communication works and rigger-mounting engineer.

From September 1, 2023, (or after publication of the new Ministerial Decree in the Belgian Official Gazette) no new applications can be submitted for these three positions in the shortage occupation’ category. Future applications for these positions should therefore be submitted in the ‘other’ category.

  • Applications already submitted for these three positions by August 31, 2023 will be treated as a position appearing on the old list.
  • Existing admissions for these three positions can be extended by the same employer, even after September 1, 2023. However, changing employer is not possible, even when the same position is being renewed. A renewal with a different employer must therefore be submitted in the ‘other’ category.

The current list of 75 shortage occupations in Wallonia is valid until 30 September 2023. The current list of shortage occupations in Brussels is here.

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