Overview of Belgium

Located on the English Channel, this geographically small, yet densely populated country of 11.5 million people is situated between France, Germany, and the Netherlands, and is a short trip to both Paris and London. The diplomatic center of Europe, Belgium was one of 6 original members of the European Union, and its capital Brussels is the seat of the E.U. Host to a multilingual population, Belgium recognizes French, German and Dutch as official languages; its culture is a unique blend of all 3 influences. A picturesque and charming country, visitors to Belgium can sample its eponymous chocolates and waffles and visit Bruges, the architecturally significant medieval city and UNESCO heritage site.

Belgium was present at the beginning of the Schengen era as one of the 5 original signatories to the Schengen Agreement, in 1985. In 1995, when the treaty was implemented, Belgium stood alongside 7 countries to form the original Schengen area.

Eligibility

  • Schengen visa eligibility for Belgium includes third country nationals from the following states, who are excluded from visa-free to Belgium/the Schengen area, and are therefore eligible to apply for a Schengen visa to Belgium:

1.     AFGHANISTAN

53.   LAOS

2.     ALGERIA

54.   LEBANON

3.     ANGOLA

55.   LESOTHO

4.     ARMENIA

56.   LIBERIA

5.     AZERBAIJAN

57.   LIBYA

6.     BAHRAIN

58.   MADAGASCAR

7.     BANGLADESH

59.   MALAWI

8.     BELARUS

60.   MALDIVES

9.     BELIZE

61.   MALI

10.   BENIN

62.   MAURITANIA

11.   BHUTAN

63.   MONGOLIA

12.   BOLIVIA

64.   MOROCCO

13.   BOTSWANA

65.   MOZAMBIQUE

14.   BURKINA FASO

66.   NAMIBIA

15.   BURMA/MYANMAR

67.   NAURU

16.   BURUNDI

68.   NEPAL

17.   CAMBODIA

69.   NIGER

18.   CAMEROON

70.   NIGERIA

19.   CAPE VERDE

71.   NORTH KOREA

20.   CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

72.   OMAN

21.   CHAD

73.   PAKISTAN

22.   CHINA

74.   PAPUA NEW GUINEA

23.   COMOROS

75.   PHILIPPINES

24.   CONGO

76.   QATAR

25.   COTE D’IVOIRE

77.   RUSSIA

26.   CUBA

78.   RWANDA

27.   DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

79.   SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE

28.   DJIBOUTI

80.   SAUDI ARABIA

29.   DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

81.   SENEGAL

30.   ECUADOR

82.   SIERRA LEONE

31.   EGYPT

83.   SOMALIA

32.   EQUATORIAL GUINEA

84.   SOUTH AFRICA

33.   ERITREA

85.   SOUTH SUDAN

34.   ETHIOPIA

86.   SRI LANKA

35.   FIJI

87.   SUDAN

36.   GABON

88.   SURINAME

37.   GAMBIA

89.   SWAZILAND

38.   GHANA

90.   SYRIA

39.   GUINEA

91.   TAJIKISTAN

40.   GUINEA-BISSAU

92.   TANZANIA

41.   GUYANA

93.   THAILAND

42.   HAITI

94.   TOGO

43.   INDIA

95.   TUNISIA

44.   INDONESIA

96.   TURKEY

45.   IRAN

97.   TURKMENISTAN

46.   IRAQ

98.   UGANDA

47.   JAMAICA

99.   UZBEKISTAN

48.   JORDAN

100.VIETNAM

49.   KAZAKHSTAN

101.YEMEN

50.   KENYA

102.ZAMBIA

51.   KUWAIT

103.ZIMBABWE

52.   KYRGYZSTAN

 
  • Third party nationals from the following entities/territories are also required to apply for a Schengen visa: KOSOVO and the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY.

Required Documents

  • All documents required for your Belgium Schengen visa must be completed/translated into English, French, German, or Dutch. Applications for all Schengen visas to Belgium will contain Basic Required Documents, including the following:
    • Valid passport
    • Passport sized photos
    • Application form
    • Fingerprints (biometric data)
    • Travel medical insurance
    • Visa Fee
    • Materials related to your trip:
      • Reason for visit
      • Where you will stay (accommodation)
      • How you will fund your trip (finances)
      • Proof that you will leave Belgium before your visa becomes invalid/expires. This is often in the form of a paid plane ticket (proof of return).

Note: For more information on what to include in your application, including a detailed description of required materials, please see: Basic Required Documents. Please note that you may have to submit additional Belgium Schengen visa supporting documents related to your specific purpose for travelling.  

Fees

  • The standard Belgium Schengen visa fee for an adult is 80 Euros. Certain types of applicants (most students, children under 6) are exempt from all visa fees. To get a Schengen visa for Belgium, you will likely have to submit a service payment with your visa application-this is a separate cost from the visa fee. Please note that these fees are non-refundable.

How to Apply: Steps

  • Step 1: Determine your Purpose for travelling to Belgium, which will determine the Type of visa you should apply for.
  • Step 2: Determine how many Entries to Belgium/the Schengen area you need.
  • Step 3: Gather your Required Documents.
  • Step 4: Schedule a Schengen Visa appointment (if applicable).
    • Depending on the location of the consulate/visa center you are applying through, you will likely have to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application. Alternatively, you may be able to drop off your application without prior arrangement, so long as you do so during normal operating hours. Contact your consulate/visa center directly to find out if you need to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application.
  • Step 5: Fill out your application.
    • Different Belgian Consulates/visa processing centers may provide different ways of accessing applications. In general, applications for Belgian Schengen visas are lodged through Belgium’s online application portal, accessible here.
      • Register as a new user in order to create an online account, which will allow you to fill out your application online.
      • Once completed and electronically submitted, a copy will be emailed to you in PDF form. You will print out this copy, sign it, and submit it with the rest of your application materials at your subsequent visa appointment.
      • Once you have successfully submitted your application electronically, you will receive a prompt allowing you to schedule an in-person appointment at a Belgian Consulate/visa center. This is where you will submit the application as well as your Basic Required Documents.
    • In the event that you do not have access to Belgium’s online application portal, you may be able print out, sign, and submit the application form available online here.
  • Step 6: Pay the application fee.
  • Step 7: Submit your Belgium Schengen visa application (at least 15 days prior to travelling, not before 6 months).
    • Different Belgian consulates/processing centers have different procedures for submitting applications. In almost all cases, applications must be submitted in person to the consulate/center you are applying through. When you submit your application, you will likely also be asked to submit biometric data (fingerprints). Children younger than 12 years are exempt from having their fingerprints collected. However, facial photo capturing will be required irrespective of the age.

When to Apply

  • Submit your application at least 15 days prior to the day you intend to travel, and no earlier than 6 months before you leave.

Where to Apply

  • Applications for Schengen visas to Belgium should be submitted at either a Belgian Consulate or a visa application center that has a relationship with Belgium.
  • In countries where there is no Belgian consular presence, applications may be lodged via the consulate of a Schengen state representing Belgian consular interests.
  • Ideally, you will lodge your application in the country where you legally reside/are a citizen.
  • You can search for the Belgian Consulate/the visa application center closest to you by accessing the Belgium Schengen visa official site for consulates here.

Processing Time

  • The processing time for a Belgium Schengen visa is generally 15 days, although the current processing time is 30-85 days. Belgium Schengen visa processing times vary according to what type and category of visa you are applying for, as well as when you are applying (winter vs. summer, etc.).

If your visa was approved:

  • Collect your visa and make sure the information it contains is valid and complete.

If your visa was denied:

  • If you have received a Schengen visa rejection for Belgium, you have a right to an appeal within 30 days of receiving your rejection.
  • You will likely receive a standard issued-Belgium Schengen visa refusal form outlining the detailed steps of the appeal process. You may then follow the steps to submit a formal request appealing the decision and declaring your reason for appealing.
  • Your appeal should be directed to the Conseil du Contentieux des étrangers at the following address:

    Conseil du Contentieux des étrangers
    Raad voor Vreemdelingenbetwistingen
    Rue Gaucheret 92-94
    B-1030 Brussels
    Belgium

Finally, once you obtain your Schengen Visa for Belgium, please note the following:

  • Your visa may be revoked if you do not notify the Belgian Consulate/visa application center of any changes to your trip itinerary that occur after you have submitted your application.
  • Being approved for a Schengen visa does not guarantee you entry to either Belgium or the general Schengen area-you can still be refused entry to both places upon arrival.
  • Alternatively, you may have to show additional documents regarding your finances or accommodation in order to enter Belgium/the Schengen area.