Simplified formalities when applying for a visa

In order to be able to work in Belgium, non-EU foreign nationals must be granted the right to stay in Belgium for more than 3 months by means of a temporary residency Visa (type D).
When applying for such a visa, they are required to provide the Belgian consular authorities in their home country with a Police Clearance Certificate. The period to be covered by the certificate has recently been reduced.

As from now on, this Police Clearance Certificate should only cover the past 12 months (instead of the past 5 years). This change is especially important for employees who have been working in several foreign countries before their Belgian assignment. Until now, these employees had to provide a Police Clearance Certificate from each of the countries in which they had resided over the past 5 years.

This requirement had serious implications due to the difficulty in obtaining these documents. In some countries, the application has to be made in person or even require taking fingerprints. In other countries, the processing time for getting such a document is particularly long (up to 4 months) and extremely costly (if the employee cannot file his/her own application).