Short stay (maximum of 90 days)

Countries with no visa obligation for nationals for a maximum of 90 days can be found on the website of the Immigration Office (list of third countries whose nationals are exempted from holding a visa).

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 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 long term visa (visa type D) 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. 

Student

You have to apply for a student visa (type D) with the Belgian embassy or consulate in your current country of residence before leaving for Belgium.

Important note
For some countries, approval by the Belgian authorities can take up to three months or longer. Make sure you start the visa application procedure well in advance! We urge you not to come on a tourist visa alone.

More info

Find out which embassy or consulate you should start your visa application at the website of Foreign Affairs or on the website of the Immigration Office (Dutch or French).​

Required documents (subject to change):

  • Valid international passport (with at least one year validity remaining)
  • Two copies of the visa application form, completed and signed
  • Invitation letter or acceptance letter
  • Proof of sufficient means of subsistence - for more information check this section
  • Certificate of good conduct: This certificate, which is also called a police record, can be obtained from the police department in your home country. It should be dated no more than six months prior to the date of application. If the police department in your home country does not provide such a certificate, the Belgian consulate or embassy will inform you about what steps to take.
  • Medical certificate:
    • The  medical certificate has to be completed by a doctor appointed by the Belgian diplomatic or consular agent nearest to your official place of residence and stamped for approval by the same agent. The completed original certificate (in Dutch, French or English) is needed to process your visa application. This certificate must not be older than six months from the date of issue. 
    • Applicants who are already residing in Belgium can contact any GP (general practitioner or family doctor) in Belgium to obtain the medical certificate
  • Proof of payment of the administrative fee for students. The exact amount and payment method can be found on the website of the Immigration Office. PhD student who receive a grant from the University of Antwerp are exempt from the administrative fee. The proof of exemption will be issued by the HR Officer.

Additional visa requirements may be requested by the embassy. Please contact the responsible embassy to check this.

Erasmus Mobility

Non-EEA nationals who study in a country of the European Union and come to Belgium on Erasmus Mobility no longer have to apply for a D-visa if they can present the following documents:

  • A colour copy of a valid passport;
  • A colour copy of a residence permit from an EEA country that is valid for the entire mobility period in Belgium;
  • Proof of a valid health insurance for Belgium for the entire mobility period;
  • Proof of sufficient financial means for the entire mobility period such as: a copy of a scholarship / a copy of the sponsorship commitment (legalized annex 32). For academic year 2022-2023 the minimum amount is €730 per month. If you prove your financial means with a blocked university account, the amount is €950 per month;

Documents have to be submitted at least two months before start date of your mobility.

After positive decision from the immigration services, you will be notified that your application has been approved.  Upon arrival in Belgium, an appointment will be booked for you at the immigration desk where you will receive a temporary residence document for your period of stay.

If you cannot present the required documentation as outlined, you have to apply for a D-visa in order to come to Belgium on Erasmus Mobility.

Staff

If you are planning to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days, you will need a visa long stay (visa type D). You must apply for this at the Belgian consulate or embassy in your home country before coming to Belgium.

The type of your contract/grant at the University of Antwerp will determine the immigration formalities that need to be fulfilled.

  • PhD staff
  • Research staff
  • Other staff categories
     

PhD staff

Doctoral scholarship holders or PhD students with their own funding who are enrolled at the University of Antwerp as PhD students while working on a PhD or double PhD will have to apply for a visa type D as students. More information about the visa application procedure can be found under the information for students.

Research staff

Research staff who have a contract or a postdoctoral grant with the University of Antwerp and who receive a host agreement will have to apply for a visa type D as researchers.

Required documents:

  • Valid international passport (with at least one year of validity remaining)
  • Two copies of the visa application form, completed and signed
  • Letter of appointment from UAntwerp, proof of grant or employment contract
  • Proof of exemption from work permit (host agreement)
  • Medical certificate:
    • The medical certificate has to be completed by a doctor appointed by the Belgian diplomatic or consular agent nearest to your official place of residence and stamped for approval by the same agent. The completed original certificate (in Dutch, French or English) is needed to process your visa application. This certificate should state that you are in good health and are not a carrier of contagious diseases, e.g. tuberculosis. This certificate must not be older than six months from the date of issue. 
    • Applicants who are already residing in Belgium can contact any GP (general practitioner or family doctor) in Belgium to obtain the medical certificate. ​
  • An extract from your criminal record dating from no more than six months prior to the date of application and covering the previous year
  • Proof of payment of the consular fees
  • Proof of payment of the administrative fee for researchers. The exact amount and payment method can be found on the website of the Immigration Office. Researchers who receive a scholarship from the University of Antwerp are exempt from the administrative fee. The proof of exemption will be issued by the HR Officer.

The documents listed above are the basic documents required in all cases. Please contact the Belgian embassy as soon as possible to check whether additional documents are required. The contact information of the embassy can be found on the website.

Official documents issued abroad might need to be legalised or apostilled, depending on the type of document and country where it was issued.
Documents issued abroad in a language other than Dutch, English, French or German must be translated by a sworn translator.

For more information on legalisations and translations of documents, please check the website of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or contact the Belgian embassy in your country of residence.

Other staff categories

Other staff categories will receive the visa type D after approval of the single permit (based on the “annex 46” document). For more information about the procedure, please check the section on work permits.

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.