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, United Kingdom, 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. 

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

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. There are three acceptable types:
  1. Scholarship certificate or proof of grant or loan from an international or national organisation (such as a university), or a legal person, Belgian or foreign, with sufficient resources.
     
  2. Proof of solvency: Proof of solvency can be obtained from the University of Antwerp by transferring the required amount into the university’s bank account (blocked account). The student then receives a proof of solvency certificate which can be used for the visa application. Once in Belgium, the university will transfer the amount back to the student’s Belgian bank account in monthly instalments. This procedure is highly recommended for self-supporting students.
     
  3. 'Agreement for Acceptance of Financial Responsibility' form: the so-called annex 32 or ‘proof of sponsorship’ - available at the Belgian Embassy.
    • This must be completed and signed by, for example, your parents, relatives or a private sponsor in Belgium who must have sufficient income.
    • Belgian law requires that this person, your guarantor, must be able to show that he or she earns at least €1254.82 a month plus €150 per person who is legally dependent on him or her.
    • Then, in addition to this, your guarantor's income must be able to provide you with €666 per month.
    • The Belgian consulate or embassy has the authority to request official proof of your guarantor's income and to investigate this accordingly. It is recommended that you include this proof when you submit the form.
    • In this document your guarantors declare that they agree to cover the following costs:
      • your health expenses
      • your stay in Belgium
      • your studies
      • and your return to your home country
        for at least one academic year OR for the entire duration of your studies in Belgium.
    • The document must be legalised by the local municipal administration of the guarantor or by the Belgian embassy if your guarantor lives outside Belgium. Please note that the amounts mentioned above are subject to increase per year according to the Belgian state's index calculations. Please check the most up-to-date amounts with the Belgian consulate or embassy in your home country.
  • 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 official form for the medical certificate can be obtained from the Belgian diplomatic service in your home country. This 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. The medical certificate must be legalised by the Belgian embassy or consulate as well. This certificate should state that you are in good health and are not a carrier of contagious diseases, e.g. tuberculosis.
    • A medical certificate stating that you are not carrying any diseases which might endanger public health. This certificate must not be older than six months from the date of issue. If you are residing outside Belgium, the form must be signed and stamped by a doctor recognised by the Belgian embassy which is handling your visa application.
    • Applicants who are already residing in Belgium can contact any GP (general practitioner or family doctor) in Belgium to obtain this certificate. You can download the medical certificate from the website of the Immigration Office.

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

Staff

If you are planning to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days, you will need a long-term visa (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

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 in the collapsable above, with 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 official form for the medical certificate can be obtained from the Belgian diplomatic service in your home country. This 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. The medical certificate must be legalised by the Belgian embassy or consulate as well. This certificate should state that you are in good health and are not a carrier of contagious diseases, e.g. tuberculosis.
    • A medical certificate stating that you are not carrying any diseases which might endanger public health. This certificate must not be older than six months from the date of issue. If you are residing outside Belgium, the form must be signed and stamped by a doctor recognised by the Belgian embassy which is handling your visa application.
    • Applicants who are already residing in Belgium can contact any GP (general practitioner or family doctor) in Belgium to obtain this certificate. You can download the medical certificate from the website of the Immigration Office
  • 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 of EUR 363. This additional administrative fee has been in place since March 2015 for long-term visa applications. Researchers 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.

The amount needs to be transferred to the account of the Immigration Office. More information about the fee and the payment methods can be found on the website of the Immigration Office.  Please note that a copy of the bank transfer alone will not be accepted. It must be clear that the amount has been debited from your account to the right account number of the Immigration Office. 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.

For other staff categories, the application will be initiated through the International Staff Office if the member of staff lives in Antwerp or one of its districts. Please make sure not to start the application yourself, otherwise the International Staff Office will not be able to assist during the application procedure.

Having a European Union residence permitfrom 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 (Undergoing an update in April 2021). 

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.

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.