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Belgium – Visas

Visa Regulations for Entering Belgium

Belgium is part of the Schengen Area, which is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders. To enter Belgium, visitors must have a valid passport or ID card, depending on their country of origin. Some visitors may also need a visa, depending on their country of origin, the purpose of their trip, and the length of their stay.

Important visa rules to be aware of:

  1. Purpose of trip: Visitors must have a clear purpose for their trip, such as tourism, business, study, work, or family reasons. They must provide proof of the purpose of their trip and their financial means to support themselves during their stay.

  2. Length of stay: Visitors are generally allowed to stay in Belgium for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. If they need to stay for a longer period, they must apply for a long-stay visa or a residence permit.

  3. Health insurance: Visitors must have adequate health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in Belgium.

  4. Criminal record: Visitors may be required to provide a police clearance certificate or a criminal record check, depending on the purpose of their trip and the length of their stay.

To successfully navigate these regulations, visitors should check the specific requirements for their country of origin on the Belgian embassy or consulate website. They should also prepare all necessary documents and proof of their purpose of trip, financial means, and health insurance coverage before applying for a visa.

Types of visas available in Belgium

  1. Short-stay visa (C-type visa): This type of visa allows visitors to stay in Belgium for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. It is suitable for visitors who are traveling for tourism, business, study, or family reasons.

  2. Long-stay visa (D-type visa): This type of visa allows visitors to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days. It is suitable for visitors who are traveling for work, study, or family reasons.

  3. Residence permit: This type of visa allows visitors to stay in Belgium for an indefinite period and to work, study, or start a business in Belgium. To apply for a residence permit, visitors must meet specific requirements, such as having a job offer, sufficient financial means, and adequate health insurance coverage.

Visa Exemptions in Belgium


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Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland do not need a visa to enter Belgium. They can enter Belgium with a valid passport or ID card and are free to stay and work in Belgium without a residence permit.

Citizens of some other countries, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, do not need a visa for short stays in Belgium for tourism, business, or family reasons. However, they must have a valid passport and a return ticket.

Relationship Between Visas and Residency in Belgium

Visas and residency are closely related in Belgium. Visitors who want to stay in Belgium for a longer period must apply for a long-stay visa or a residence permit. A long-stay visa allows visitors to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days, but does not grant them the right to work or study in Belgium. A residence permit, on the other hand, allows visitors to stay in Belgium for an indefinite period and to work, study, or start a business in Belgium.

Expats who are planning to move to Belgium and reside there for a longer period should check the specific requirements for their country of origin on the Belgian embassy or consulate website. They

A visa is required for citizens of most countries, including the US and UK, for stays in Belgium longer than 90 days. You should apply for a visa at least 3 months before your intended trip. The process of applying for a visa involves filling out the online application form, which can be found on the website of the Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country.

Where to Apply for a Visa forBelgium?

If you are a US citizen, you should apply for a visa at the Belgian Embassy in Washington, D.C. If you are a UK citizen, you should apply at the Belgian Embassy in London. A list of Belgian consulates in the US and UK can be found on the official website of the Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs.

What documents do you need to provide to apply for a visa for Belgium?

When applying for a visa for Belgium, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • A valid passport with at least two blank pages
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs
  • Proof of financial means to support yourself during your stay
  • Proof of accommodation in Belgium (e.g. a confirmed hotel reservation or a letter from a host)
  • Proof of your intention to leave Belgium at the end of your stay (e.g. a return ticket)
  • A covering letter explaining the purpose of your trip and your itinerary
  • A fee payment

Translations into French or Dutch may be necessary. More information on the specific requirements for each type of visa can be found on the Belgian Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs website.

How long does the application process for getting a visa for Belgium usually take?

The processing time for a visa for Belgium varies depending on the type of visa and the time of year, but it can take anywhere from several days to several weeks. You should apply well in advance to ensure that you have enough time to obtain your visa before your trip.

Visa Costs for Belgium?

The cost of a visa for Belgium varies depending on the type of visa and the length of your stay, but it is typically around 60 EUR for a short-term visa. There may also be additional fees for processing and handling, as well as for any required biometric services.

Are there any other associated costs?

In addition to the cost of the visa, there may be additional costs for required biometric services, such as fingerprinting and photography. You may also need to pay for courier services to return your passport and visa, and for travel insurance to cover any medical expenses while in Belgium.


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