New department to handle work visas

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The creation of a new economic migration department in September will help to speed up the process of obtaining a work visa in Belgium.

2 July 2008

BELGIUM - The Belgian Migration Minister Annemie Turtelboom has announced the creation of a new Economic Migration Department.

The new department will be part of the Immigration Service and is in charge of speeding up visa procedures for people coming to work in Belgium.

At the moment, three-quarters of the visas issued to businesspeople and people coming to work in Belgium are processed abroad.

The remaining 25 percent end up with the Immigration Office in Brussels. These applications are processed along with requests for tourist visas and requests for family reunification. As a result, delays are incurred.

Turtelboom says that the new department should address this problem.

The department will also serve as an information centre where business people can get advice. It will also provide support for Belgium's federal authorities and local municipalities. This should prove to be useful when new regulations are drawn up.

The new department becomes operational in September.

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