Currently non-EEA/Swiss employees need a work permit and a separate residence permit to be allowed to work in Belgium. This will change once the European Single Permit Directive is implemented in Belgium. According to the new rules, only one procedure will need to be followed to obtain a single permit governing permission to both work and reside in Belgium. But whereas currently it takes an average of four to six weeks to obtain a work permit, the new rules give the authorities four months make a decision. Employers will also need to allow more time to prepare the application, as unlike today, a criminal record check must be submitted at the beginning of the process. In practice, these records take time to obtain.
There is no official confirmation as to when the new rules will enter into force but they could come in from 1 January 2019 (or even earlier). Applications made before the new rules come into force will be processed under the old ones.