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Visa regulations for non EEA+ nationals

COVID 19 and visa applications - update July 2020
Read more on the gradual reopening of Belgian visa services

Standard visa regulations:

Short stay (maximum of 90 days)

Countries with no visa obligation for a maximum of 90 days

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, East Timor, El Salvador, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macao, FYR of Macedonia, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint-Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela.

Last update: 18 February 2019. Consult the original regulation and list (French or Dutch). For some countries, important limitations are formulated. In case of doubt, contact the Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country. 

Other countries

If you have any other nationality, you have to apply for a visa type C or so-called Schengen visa (short-stay period of maximum 90 days) at the Belgian embassy or consulate in your current country of residence before coming to Belgium. 

Please note that a Schengen visa or a short stay cannot be extended or changed to cover a different purpose. You must leave Belgium when the three months are over at the latest.

To apply for a visa type C, you will usually need the following documents (subject to change):

  • a completed and signed application form;
  • a travel document (e.g. a passport), valid for at least three months after the date on which you intend to leave the Schengen territory;
  • documents indicating the purpose of your journey (e.g. invitation letter, proof of employment, etc.);
  • documents showing your accommodation during your stay (e.g. hotel reservation);
  • documents indicating that you have sufficient personal financial resources;
  • information making it possible to assess your intention to leave the Schengen territory before the expiry of the visa;
  • valid travel health insurance covering any costs of repatriation for medical reasons, emergency medical care and/or emergency hospital care or death during your stay(s) in the Schengen territory with a minimum cover of EUR 30,000.

Important notes:

  • If you are a non-EEA national with a residence permit from another EU country, you can come to Belgium for a period of maximum 90 days without a visa.
  • If Belgium is your only or main destination, you must apply for a visa at the authorised Belgian consulate or embassy. Holding a visa issued by another Schengen State when the purpose of your journey is to attend an academic activity in Belgium could be a reason for refusing entry.

More info on visa requirements and procedure

Long-term stay (more than 90 days)

If you are planning to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days, you will have to apply for a visa at the Belgian embassy or consulate in your current country of residence before leaving for Belgium. The type of visa you will have to apply for depends on your status at the university. 

Administrative fee

Having a European Union residence permit from another EU country is not sufficient to register in Belgium. If you travel to Belgium with only a residence permit from another European country, you will have to present the same documents to the immigration office as for a visa application and the procedure will take much longer.

If you have dual citizenship (non-EU and EU) you can travel with the European passport if you are residing in an EU country. If you are residing in a non-EU country, the issuance of a residence permit could be delayed as you will not have a European health insurance provider (which is a requirement for all European nationals to stay in Belgium). If you apply for a visa, you will be able to settle this in advance.

Please do not enter Belgium with a Schengen visa (visa type C)! The Schengen visa is only valid for three months and cannot be extended. After these three months, you must travel back to your home country at your own cost and apply for an appropriate visa there.

Administrative fee for visa type D - long stay

Non-EU nationals have to pay a contribution to cover the administrative costs of processing a long-stay visa application for Belgium by the Immigration Office. When submitting the visa application, the applicant must demonstrate that the contribution has been paid in full.

International students with a scholarship issued by a Belgian university or university college, a Belgian public authority or the European Union, are exempted from paying this contribution fee. Proof of payment is required when applying for a visa.

This contribution has to be paid by the applicant or a third party (family member, acquaintance, sponsor, guarantor etc.) into a designated bank account in Belgium. The proof of payment will need to be provided at the time of submission of the visa application. In the event that an applicant is unable to provide the proof of payment, the visa application will not be possible.

The amount of this contribution and possible exemptions can be found on the website of the FPS Home Affairs – Immigration Office.

The cost of the long-stay visa remains the same and must be paid at the time of the application. Being exempted from paying the handling fee does not mean that you are exempted from the contribution to the administrative cost.

The contribution must be paid in euros into a Belgian bank account in the name of FPS Home Affairs, Immigration Office, details of which you can find on their website.

Please note
Any costs related to the transfer of the contribution must be paid by the applicant.
The contribution will not be refunded if the visa is refused.