Nationals of the European Union Member States or of the following countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland may move freely. They may stay in Belgium on the strength of a national passport or identity card, and proof that they are members of a health scheme and that they have sufficient means of support (for example an employment contract).
The principle described above also applies to nationals of the 10 countries that joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. However, there will be a two year transition period with regard to nationals from eight of these countries (Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) who enter to Belgium in order to undertake paid employment (including work as an au pair). During this period, they will still need to obtain a work permit (except in certain very specific cases of persons 'seconded' to Belgium by a service provider located in an old or new Member State of the European Union).
During the transition period, salaried workers from these eight countries who are not exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit may enter Belgium without a visa. However, in order to register with the municipality where they live they must have a residence authorisation. This may be requested, on the strength of a work permit, at the commune where they live within three months of arrival or prior to arrival at the relevant Belgian embassy or consulate.
Other aliens, i.e. nationals of any countries other than those referred to above, wishing to stay in Belgium for longer than three months require a long-term visa.
Applications for this type of visa may be made only to the Belgian diplomatic or consular authorities competent for the applicant's place of residence.
Specific procedures are laid down for a certain number of situations, i.e. studies, employment purposes, self-employment, family reunification, cohabitation, adoption and a visa for marriage in Belgium.
All other individual cases will be examined by the Aliens' Office on a case-by-case basis.
The application must, moreover, be submitted in due time to allow the Aliens' Office to conduct an investigation if required. Upon their arrival in Belgium, aliens must report to the municipal authorities of their place of residence.
1. General regulations governing higher education In order to receive authorisation for temporary residence, an individual planning to come to Belgium to study will be required to provide the Belgian Embassy or Consulate in his/her country with: a certificate of good conduct, a medical certificate and the following documents :
Application must be made to the Aliens' Office and the following two conditions must also be met:
48 hours to 8 weeks, depending on nationality and resident status, and whether applying by post or in person. Certain nationals must apply in person (contact Consulate or Consular section at Embassy for further details).
You should apply for your visa in person at the relevant Belgian embassy or consulate in your country of residence. If there is no Belgian embassy or consulate in your country of residence, you should apply to the Belgian embassy responsible for that country (usually located in a neighboring country). This embassy will also tell you if you can submit your visa application in your country of residence via the embassy of another Schengen country.
If you are traveling, you can apply for a short-stay (up to 90 days) visa at the Belgian embassy or consulate of the country you are in at the time. In this case, your application must be submitted to the Immigration Service at FPS Home Affairs for its decision, which may take some time. This option does not exist for long-stay (over 90 days) visa applications.
You should apply for your visa in person at the relevant Belgian embassy or consulate in your country of residence. If there is no Belgian embassy or consulate in your country of residence, you should apply to the Belgian embassy responsible for that country (usually located in a neighbouring country). This embassy will also tell you if you can submit your visa application in your country of residence via the embassy of another Schengen country.
If you are travelling, you can apply for a short-stay (up to 90 days) visa at the Belgian embassy or consulate of the country you are in at the time. In this case, your application must be submitted to the Immigration Service at FPS Home Affairs for its decision, which may take some time. This option does not exist for long-stay (over 90 days) visa applications.
Short-stay (single- and multiple-entry): usually valid for 6 months from date of issue for stays of maximum 30 or 90 days per entry. Transit (single- and multiple-entry): valid for a maximum of 5 days per entry, including the day of arrival. Visas cannot be extended and a new application must be made each time.
A normal Schengen visa is only valid for a single entry into the Schengen area . Consequently, once inside the Schengen area, you cannot travel to another country outside the Schengen area and back again. For example, if you have a Schengen visa for a trip to Belgium and wish to spend several days in the United Kingdom and then return to Belgium, it is not possible to do so if you only have a single entry marked on your Schengen visa.
In some instances, a Schengen visa with multiple entries may be requested from the outset from the embassy or consulate. However, you will need to justify the fact that you require multiple entries.
If the visa is valid for multiple entries, this will be clearly indicated on the visa sticker. Such visas allow you to enter and leave the Schengen area several times (the number indicated on the visa) within the period of validity of the visa (i.e. the dates indicated on the visa under 'from' and 'until'). However, the total length of the stay may not exceed the number of days indicated under 'duration of stay'. In no event may the total stay exceed 90 days within any six-month period.
Most short-stay visas issued by Belgian embassies and consulates are Schengen visas. These are clearly marked with the word 'Schengen'.
A Schengen visa is valid for the territory of all Schengen countries and entitles the holder to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within a six-month period starting from the date of the first entry into the area.
If you have received a visa which is only valid for Belgium or the Benelux countries (i.e. Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) or which is not valid for one or more Schengen countries, this will be clearly indicated on the visa.
All questions linked to extending your stay in Belgium should be addressed to the municipality of your place of residence in Belgium. However, it is only possible to have your visa extended in exceptional circumstances that could not have been foreseen at the time you made the visa application.
When you arrived in Belgium, you should have registered (lien FAQ que dois-je faire à mon arrivée en Belgique) at the municipality and been issued with a declaration of arrival. On the basis of this document, it may be possible to have the visa extended via the municipality, who must seek authorisation from the Immigration Service at FPS Home Affairs.
Even if you were not required to register with the municipality (because you were staying at a hotel, camp site or youth hostel, or were being admitted to a hospital or prison), you must contact the municipality of your place of residence if you wish to extend your stay.
For further information, please consult the municipality or the Immigration Service's Visa Extension Department
Please note: The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. Please contact your nearest embassy for accurate, up-to-date information.
For more information, Contact Belgium Embassy