Types of Visas in Belgium: Explained

Embarking on a journey to Belgium can be thrilling, yet navigating the labyrinth of visa types often feels like solving a complex puzzle.

Our comprehensive guide on ‘Types of Visas in Belgium’ demystifies this process, offering expats clear and witty insights into choosing the right visa for their Belgian adventure. Let’s dive into the world of Belgian visas with a touch of humor and heaps of useful information.

Schengen Visa Type C

C (Schengen) visa for a short stay (less than 90 days)

  • C tourist visa
  • C visa for a business or research travel, such as a seminar or conference.
  • C visa to visit a person in Belgium, such as family or friends.

C visa (Schengen) with the intention of

  • Marry a Belgian citizen in Belgium
  • In Belgium, proclaim legal cohabitation with a Belgian citizen
  • To marry a non-Belgian EU citizen in Belgium
  • To register a legal cohabitation with a non-Belgian EU citizen in Belgium

D visa (for stays of over 90 days)

Work

  • Professional Card Researcher 
  • Hosting Agreement Holder Studies 
  • Single Permit Approval Holder

Studies 

  • Ballet School Studies 
  • Higher Education Studies 
  • Youth Exchange Programme

Family reunion

  • Spouse of a Belgian national
  • Parent of a Belgian Minor Child (under the age of 18)
  • A single permit/hosting agreement holder’s family
  • A Professional Card Holder’s Family

What Are The Visa Requirements For Belgium?

All visas to Belgium typically require the following documentation.

  1. Official Passport: government-issued passport, no more than ten years old, with the correct validity period (at least three months beyond the scheduled day of departure from Belgium).
  2. Visa fee: Your Belgium visa fee will be determined by the type of visa you are asking for, as well as other considerations such as your age.

 Adult Schengen visa fees are generally €80; the minimum long-term Belgian national visa charge for adults is €198.

  1. Personal photographs: Two recent photographs of the applicant. Photos should be in passport format (with passport dimensions). 

You will likely be requested to upload these images electronically; otherwise, you will be asked to produce hard copies.

Additional Documents

You will probably be required to submit additional papers with your Belgian visa application. 

Documents commonly requested assist visa officers in confirming your identification, determining the accuracy of your declared purpose of travel, and assessing your financial situation. 

Your supplemental documents will be determined by the type of Belgian visa you apply for, which may comprise the following:

  • Biographical documents
  • Financial materials 
  • Accommodation
  • Educational materials 
  • Proof of medical insurance

Please remember that some extra forms may only be accessible in French, Dutch, or German. 

Documents must almost certainly be delivered in one of those languages—or English—or supported by approved translations. Applicants for Belgian visas should follow the following general processes, which may vary significantly depending on various circumstances, such as visa type and application destination

Visa Application

  • Select the duration of your visa

Determine how long you expect to stay in Belgium, i.e. whether you require a long, short, or airport visa. This will influence how you proceed with the following application steps:

  • Choose the reason for your Belgian visa

Choose your travel reason (education, business, etc.).

  • Choose a category for your entry.

Whether you choose a single-entry or multiple-entry visa for Belgium, you can travel in and out of the country/Schengen area throughout your visa. 

  • Choose where to apply

Determine your physical application location (where you will submit your visa application). 

This is usually the Belgian Embassy/Consulate or a visa-application centre in your area. More information is available under “where to apply.”

Complete The Application For A Visa

  • Go to the main application form

Most candidates should use the official visa portal system to apply for a Belgian visa online (including creating an online account). 

As an alternative, you can apply straight through the Belgian mission in your area by mailing your application or turning in a printout of it in person.

Whether you apply online or in person, you must complete several in-person criteria and officially submit your application through your local Belgian embassy, consulate, or visa application Centre.

  • Assemble the remaining paperwork

Collect the necessary paperwork and the extras needed for the kind of Belgian visa you need.

Make An Appointment For Your Visa Interview

Nearly every applicant for a Belgian visa, including those who apply online, must show up for a visa appointment at the location of their application (the local Belgian embassy, consulate, or visa application Centre). 

Interviews for Belgian visas might take days, weeks, or even months to arrange, but if you apply using the Belgian visa site, you should be able to do so online.

Alternatively, you might have to schedule an appointment by contacting the embassy, consulate, or visa application centre directly (by phone or email).

Attend The Interview For Your Visa

This is the place where you will fill out your biometric data, have your interview, pay the Belgian visa application fee, and fulfil any additional conditions related to your kind of visa.

This is the last step in the Belgium visa application process. You will either be approved or denied at the end of your appointment, or you can leave the country to wait for a decision.

Note that certain visas may need further steps (e.g., to apply for a Belgium Work Permit if you are asking for a long-term business visa; for other long-term visas, you may need to apply for a Belgian residence permit).

Where To Submit A Visa Application For Belgium?

Belgium visa applications are processed worldwide by Belgian embassies, consulates, and the visa application centres connected to them.

You can apply online for a Belgian visa using the following link. Even online applicants must, however, meet the conditions for a Belgium visa in person, which are only available at the nearby Belgian embassy, consulate, or visa application centre.

 If your country does not have a Belgian mission, you will probably apply for your visa via the embassy or consulate of another country that is Belgium’s official representative abroad.

When To Submit A Belgium Visa Application?

It is recommended that those wishing to apply for Belgium short-stay visas do so at least fourteen days in advance of their planned departure. Furthermore, although applying far in advance is advised, doing so more than six months before departure is discouraged.

Belgium Visa Application Processing Duration

The time it takes to process a Belgium visa application varies. The following things affect how long it will take to obtain your visa:

  • Belgian visa type
  • Application destination
  • Your nationality
  • The completeness of the application

Depending on all of these factors, you could expect to receive a visa in days, weeks, or even months after you apply.

What Happens If My Application For A Visa To Belgium Is Denied?

If the Belgium visa is denied, you have the following options:

  • Make a new Schengen visa application. If your application for a visa is denied, you can always try again later.
  • File an appeal against your denial. Before taking this action, you must be extremely certain that your application was incorrectly denied. You should get to work on your appeal after determining to challenge the denial.
  • To enter a Schengen country, apply for a national visa. 

You might require a national (D-type) visa for extended stays if your trip was intended for purposes other than those covered by a Schengen visa, such as studying or working in Belgium.

The application procedure for a national visa differs from that of a Schengen visa.

There are some reasons why your visa application may be denied, including incomplete or forged paperwork, a damaged passport, criminal activity in the past or present, an invalid letter of recommendation, an invalid travel insurance policy, and more.

Does Belgium Require A Visa For US Citizens?

A transit, tourist, or business visa is not required for US nationals holding valid US passports. US nationals can stay in the Schengen area for up to ninety days within six months.

For more extended stays, you must obtain a Belgian resident permit (such as for a job or education).

Conclusion

As we wrap up our journey through the diverse landscape of Belgian visas, remember that each type is a key unlocking different opportunities in this culturally rich country.

Whether you’re an expat, student, or business professional, selecting the right visa is crucial for a smooth Belgian experience. Keep exploring, stay informed, and above all, venture confidently into your Belgian adventure.

Happy Exploring!

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