Visa and residence permit

​Read all information on visa formalities on these webpages

​All international students who will be staying in Belgium for more than 3 months have to apply for a residence permit upon arrival.​


Health insurance - General info

In Belgium you are free to choose your own care provider. GPs have their own private practices or may be affiliated with a hospital. Always bring cash with you to pay the doctor. You will be required to pay the doctor's fee immediately at the end of your visit. Very few doctors accept bank card payments. You will pay around 25 euros, the rates of a specialist are higher. 

The Belgian health insurance system reimburses (Belgian) medical expenses. On average, the health insurance system will reimburse 75% of your expenses. How much is reimbursed mainly depends on the nature of the service provided and on the status of both the insured person and the care provider.

In most cases the full amount will not be reimbursed. You will often be required to pay a personal contribution, the so-called patient contribution. In principle, the personal contribution amounts to 25% of the expense but this may be higher depending on the type of care provided. Some (essential) medical expenses are reimbursed in full.

Students from an EEA country (+ Switzerland)

If you’re a student coming from one of the 27 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland you get access to the Belgian state provided health care under the same conditions as the Belgian population for all urgent medical care. In order to get access to the Belgian health insurance you should request the European health Insurance card (EHIC) from your national health insurance provider before you come to Belgium. 

Please be aware of the following: 

The EHIC card:

  • is not an alternative to travel insurance. It does not cover any private healthcare or costs such as a return flight to your home country or lost/stolen property,
  • does not cover your costs if you are travelling for the express purpose of obtaining medical treatment.

You can request reimbursement by presenting your European health insurance card and the documents from the health care provider from any Belgian Health insurance provider. You can also request reimbursement from your own national health insurance provider once you are back home. The reimbursement is based on the Belgian rates.

If you are in the possession of the EHIC card there is no need to register with a Belgian Health insurer, but there are some advantages if you do wish to register with one of them:

  • Non-urgent medical care will also be reimbursed 
  • Reimbursement will be quicker, within one week according to the Belgian rules.
  • Registration is free if you stay in Belgium for less than 1 year (1 year minus 1 day) (not valid for Swiss students)

All info on how to register with a Belgian health insurer will be given as soon as you arrive in Belgium. 

Here is an overview of the most common health insurance providers:

Students from non-eu countries

​It is not mandatory to register with a Belgian Health Insurer, but you should have adequate health insurance that covers your stay here in Belgium

In case you do want to register with a Belgian Health insurer you have two options:

  1. Register as a student: if you register with a Belgian Health insurer you pay a quarterly fee plus a monthly fee (the amounts differ from provider to provider). In this case you only need proof that you are registered as a student at the University of Antwerp.
  2. Register as a resident: as a non-EU student you have to apply for a residence permit as soon as you arrive in Antwerp. With this residence permit you can register with a Belgian Health insurance provider as a resident. In this case you only pay the monthly fee (the amounts differ from provider to provider). Important: at the end of your stay in Antwerp you have to deregister as a resident and you should forward the confirmation of your deregistration to your Belgian health insurance provider to cancel your contract.

Australian citizens: Take your Medicard with you to Belgium. You can obtain this card from your health insurance provider in Australia. You do not need to register with a health insurance provider in Belgium and you do not need to pay a contribution.

All info on how to register with a Belgian health insurer will be given during the orientation days.

Here is an overview of the most common health insurance providers:

Accident - liability insurance

Registration as a student at the University of Antwerp includes accident and third party liability insurance, during educational and recreational activities in university buildings, during transfers to and from the university and during excursions approved by the university.