Belgium Visa – Applying for a Schengen Visa to Belgium

If you want to travel to Belgium for a short-term stay, you must apply for a visa. Belgium offers various types of visas for different purposes, so you must determine which type of visa you require based on your purpose of travel. You must meet the eligibility requirements and understand the application process in order to successfully obtain a Belgium visa.

Our visa experts have crafted the following guide to assist you at every stage of the Belgian Schengen visa application process. Filled with valuable insights and in-depth information based on our expertise, this comprehensive guide will aid you in thoroughly preparing for your upcoming Belgian adventure.

Belgium Schengen Visa Application Process

How to Apply for a Belgium Schengen Visa?

To apply for a Schengen visa to Belgium, follow these steps:

  1. Check if you need a visa
  2. Understand the type of visa you need
  3. Determine where to lodge your application
  4. Complete and download the visa application form
  5. Schedule your Belgium visa appointment
  6. Prepare the required documents
  7. Attend your appointment
  8. Wait for the visa to process
  9. Collect your passport

Check if You Need a Belgium Visa

Whether you need a visa to visit Belgium for a short period of time or not depends on your nationality.

Who Needs a Visa?

You will have to apply for a visa when travelling to Belgium if you are:

Exemptions from Visa Requirements

You are exempt from applying for a visa to enter Belgium if you fall into any of the following categories:

For those exempt from a visa, check out the required documents for entry into Belgium. It’s always good to be prepared!

Understand the Type of Visa You Need

If your trip to Belgium is up to 90 days and includes tourism, visiting friends and family, or business purposes, you should apply for a short-stay visa, known as a C-type or Schengen Visa.

However, if you plan to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days, you’ll need a long-stay visa, also referred to as a D-type visa. Keep in mind that the application process for a D visa may differ from that of a C visa.

Short-Term Visa Types

  • Transit Visa. If you switch flights in a Belgian airport, you have to apply for an airport transit visa
  • Tourist Visa. You must apply for this visa type, if you will visit Belgium for sightseeing or other leisure activities.
  • Visiting family or friends. You need this if you are traveling to Belgium to visit family members or friends; you must have a letter of invitation from them.
  • Business Visa. If you are planning to visit Belgium for a business trip, this is the visa type you have to select; as part of the requirement, you will need a business invitation letter from the company/organization you are visiting.
  • Cultural activities. You apply for this visa type if you are going to Belgium for a cultural event, such as a festival, filming, or even for religious activities.
  • Official Visa. If you are going to Belgium on official duty on behalf of your country’s government, select this as the reason for your travel.
  • Medical treatment. You must select this as the reason for visa application if you will undergo medical treatment in a Belgian medical facility.
  • Short-term study. You will need this if you have been accepted to a short-term study program in Belgium.
  • Others.

Long-Term Visa Types

  • Belgium student visa. This visa category enables you to pursue studies in Belgium for the duration of your academic program.
  • Belgium work visa. This visa permits you to work in Belgium and is obtained after receiving an invitation from a Belgian employer.
  • Belgium dependent visa. This visa is a family reunion visa that allows you to stay with a family member or a partner living in Belgium.

Please note that unlike for a Schengen visa, no one except EU/EEA/Swiss nationals is exempted from a long stay visa. Every non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen who wants to live in Belgium must obtain a long-stay visa beforehand.

Determine Where to Lodge Your Belgium Visa Application

Where you need to lodge your application for a Belgium visa depends on where you live.

Finding the Right Submission Location

  • Apply through TLScontact if you live in: Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, or the United Kingdom.
  • Apply through VFS Global if you live in: Angola, Australia, Bhutan, the People’s Republic of China, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), India, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkiye, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam.
  • Apply through VisaMetric if you live in Kyrgyzstan or Tajikistan.
  • Apply through CAPAGO if you live in Burkina Faso.
  • Apply through the nearest Belgian embassy or consulate, or the embassy or consulate of another Schengen country to whom Belgium has outsourced visa processing, if you live in any other country.

Regardless of where you lodge your application, it is always the Immigration Office in Brussels which makes the decision regarding your visa. The visa centers, embassies or consulates simply forward your application to the Immigration Office.

Who Should Apply for a Schengen Visa at the Belgian Embassy/Consulate/VAC?

If Belgium is your only destination within the Schengen Area, the process is simple: submit your application at the Belgian embassy/consulate or the designated Visa Application Center (VAC) in your country of residence.

However, if your travel plans involve Belgium along with at least one other Schengen state, apply at the Belgian embassy/consulate/VAC in your country of residence if:

  • You plan to spend more time in Belgium than in the other Schengen countries.
  • You intend to spend an equal amount of time in each country, but your entry into the Schengen Area starts through Belgium.

Complete and Download the Application Form

The first step of your Belgium visa application is to complete the application form. You can complete and download the form online. Throughout the form, you must provide the following information:

  • Your personal information
  • Information about your travel dates
  • Information about where you will be accommodated
  • Information on how you will finance your stay in Belgium

Complete the Online Visa Application Form Step-by-Step

Here’s the step-by-step guide to completing the online application form for a Belgium visa. Remember that once you complete the form, you must print it out and submit a physical copy along with other supporting documents to the nearest visa application center or Belgian embassy/consulate.


To begin, register as a new user on the Visa on Web (VOW) website by providing your first and last name along with your email address.

log me in

You will then receive an activation email with instructions about activating your account and creating a password. Follow the link to set a password and activate your account.

activate through email

Remember that this link is only valid for 24 hours, after which you will need to create an account from the beginning.

Start Your Application Form and Select Visa Type

When you open the account, you need to click the blue link that will send you to the application.

step one

You must first choose the type of visa you want to apply for. In your case, it is a short-stay visa.

visa application for belgium

You will be redirected to the application form, which you can begin by filling in with your personal information and information about your trip.

Section 1: Basic Information

Under Basic information, you must provide information such as your visa application number, the language in which you want to receive your decision, and the location where you plan to lodge your application. It’s important to note that the submission location will vary based on the country from which you are applying. The location may be either an embassy/consulate or a Visa Application Center (VAC), such as TLS contact or VFS Global.

basic information

Section 2: Personal Information

In the Applicant information section, provide personal data such as your surname, first name, date of birth, place of birth, country of birth, current nationality, nationality at birth, if different, sex, and marital status.

application information

Fill in information about your travel document (Document type, number, date of issuance and its validity, issuing country).

travel document

Provide your home address (Street, postal code, country) as well as your phone number, and email.

home address

Select your current occupation from a dropdown list, and fill in the required information about your work and employer. For example, “Medical profession”

current occupation

Section 3: Travel Information

In this section, you must provide travel information about your visa type; in your case, you would need a short stay C visa. You must also select the main purpose of your trip as well as the Schengen country you want to visit (Belgium in this case). If you will enter another Schengen country before you arrive to Belgium, enter the name of that country under question 26. Member state of first country.

travel information

Next, you can select the number of entries you want your visa to be, as well as how many days you want to stay in Belgium. Finally, select your means of transportation to Belgium.

 number of entries you want your visa to be

Previous Visa

If you have had a previous Schengen visa, check off “Previous fingerprints” and provide information on when you last gave your biometric information (fingerprint scans) as well as the number on your last visa sticker.

previous visa

Section 4: Accommodation Information

In this section, you must provide information about your host or type of accommodation in Belgium. Whether it is a hotel or person, you must fill in their name, street address, email, and phone number. E.g. You will stay in a hotel:

host or accomodation

In case of an inviting organization

Under Inviting organization, if applicable, provide contact data about the inviting organization (school or company). You will have to provide the name of the company/school, address, phone number and email address.

host accommodation

You also need the information about a contact person within the company/school.

personal contact

Section 5: Information About the Financing of Your Stay

In this section, you must specify who will be financing your stay in Belgium. You must provide their name.

financing of stay

If you are financing your stay, provide your own name.

financing of stay

If you are traveling as a group:

Under the Group section, please check Yes or No whether you will be traveling in a group or not.

traveling in a group or not

Submit and Download Your Application

After you provide all the required information, you must click ‘Submit application’ in the right corner of the screen.

submit application

Upon submitting your application electronically, you will receive a confirmation email containing the application form in PDF format as an attachment. You must print, date, and sign this form. Then, attach it to the supporting documents for your application.

Schedule Your Belgium Visa Appointment

To schedule an appointment, click on the Make an Appointment button located in the lower right corner of your screen after submitting your visa application. Depending on your country of residence, you have different options for booking a Belgium visa appointment.

make an appointment

Schedule an Appointment With the Belgian Embassy/Consulate

If you’ve selected an embassy or consulate as your application submission location, the next screen will appear after clicking the Make an Appointment button. Here, you will be asked to enter your personal information, including your name, email address, and phone number.

make an appointment

Once you enter all relevant information click on ‘Finish’, and you can check your appointment data on the right-hand side of the screen. The address where you need to submit your application will be stated there.

make an appointment

Once you finish the application, you will be notified that your appointment has been confirmed, and you will also receive a confirmation email.

Schedule an Appointment Through VFS Global

If your submission location is a VFS center, once you click Make an Appointment at the end of the online application form, you will be redirected to the VFS Global website. Here, a new screen will appear, offering you the option to click on the Book an appointment button to schedule your visa appointment.

Please be aware that setting up an account is necessary to proceed. Once your account is established, inputting your details will be a simple process.

Note that you must book a visa appointment through VFS Global only if you reside in Angola, Australia, Bhutan, the People’s Republic of China, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), India, Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkiye, United Arab Emirates, or Vietnam.

When Should I Make an Appointment?

The Belgian authorities recommend scheduling your visa application appointment as early as possible, ideally between one to three months in advance. You can apply as early as six months before your planned travel date.

Can I Change or Cancel My Appointment?

If you have booked a visa appointment through the electronic portal and need to cancel it, use the link provided in the confirmation email.

 confirmation email

cancel appointment

To reschedule, visit the Visa on Web webpage and click on the My Applications button. From there, select the application for which you wish to book an appointment if you have submitted multiple applications.

If you scheduled your visa appointment through a Visa Application Center (VAC), you can cancel your appointment using the “cancellation appointment services” provided on the respective websites of each visa application center.

Appointment Fee

Scheduling an appointment for a Belgian visa application is free of charge. However, there are other fees associated with the application process, which we have outlined below in this article.

We highly advise against scheduling appointments through non-accredited third-party intermediaries, as they may add extra fees.

Collect the Required Documents for a Belgium Visa

Ahead of your appointment, you must gather all the required documents for a Belgian visa. Make sure you submit all the documents to avoid the possibility of your visa being denied.

You must submit the following documents to the Belgian embassy or consulate:

The Embassy will retain your passport during the processing of your application. If you need your passport before it is processed, you can send an email to request it. You can obtain your passport once your request is confirmed.

Please ensure that you submit a copy of each original document alongside the originals. Originals will only be returned if a copy is provided. Copies are to be retained for the Embassy’s application archives. Each applicant, even when traveling as part of a family or group, must have their own copies of all required documents.

Please ensure that you have all the documents with you since you may risk getting your visa denied if something is missing from your application.

Understanding the Requirement for Travel Insurance

Travel Medical Insurance is compulsory for Schengen visas under Regulation (EU) 2009/810 of the European Parliament.

Belgian visa applicants can obtain visa insurance from either Europ Assistance or, a European insurance comparison website, comparing insurance policies of AXA, Allianz, Europ Assistance and Mutuaide.

These insurance providers are acknowledged and accepted by Belgian Embassies and Consulates worldwide. Moreover, you can cancel the insurance at no cost by submitting proof of Belgian visa rejection.

Attend Your Visa Appointment

When you attend the appointment, you must submit your printed and signed application form alongside supporting documents and provide your biometric data (fingerprints and photo). During this visit, you’ll have a brief visa interview to discuss your trip’s purpose and address any related questions.

Paying the Application Fee

On the day of your appointment, you’ll be required to pay an €90 visa application fee. In the event that you apply through a visa application center, there may be an additional service or courier charge. Fees must normally be paid in the currency of the country where the application is being submitted.

Visa Interview

At the visa appointment, you might be asked a series of questions about the reason for your trip to Belgium, whether you know someone there, as well as personal information about yourself, such as where you work, what you study, etc. See some of the most common questions during visa interviews.

Biometric Information

At the appointment, one of the main things you are required to do is submit your biometric information, which includes your visa photo and fingerprint scans.

In case you applied for a Schengen visa in the last five years, you may be exempted from submitting fingerprints.

Can Someone Else Apply for a Schengen Visa For Me?

Yes, someone else can apply for a Schengen visa on your behalf, but only if you’ve granted them authorization to do so and you’re not required to submit your biometric data.

Wait for the Visa to Process

Your application for a Belgium visa takes a minimum of 15 working days to be processed, but during times of the year when there is a higher number of applications (ahead of the holidays or during the summer) the processing time may extend up to 30 days or longer.

Track Your Application

While your Belgium visa is being processed, you can track your application through the website of the application center to which you applied. On VFS Global, you can click on the Track application button on the main page and enter your visa reference number and last name. If you applied through TLScontact, you can log in by using your email address and password to view the status of your application.

If you apply through a Belgian embassy or consulate, the consular officer gives you a receipt with a unique 5-digit number. This number also allows you to check the status of your file online on the Immigration Service’s website.

foreingers office

If Your Visa Is Granted

If your application for a Belgium visa is granted, then you are free to travel to Belgium within the validity period of your visa. The Belgian visa officers who processed your application decide how long you can stay; visas can be issued for a maximum of 90 days (for single, double, or multiple entries), but in many cases, they are issued for a shorter period.

If Your Visa Is Rejected

If your application for a Belgium visa is rejected, the reasons for the rejection will be stated on the visa decision letter. Following this, you have two options:

  • Apply for the visa again. If you acknowledge the reasons stated on your application were valid, then you can simply apply for the Belgium visa another time, making sure to correct the mistakes that led to the visa refusal. In some cases, you can apply immediately after and may be granted the visa.
  • You can appeal the decision. If you believe that the reasons were not valid, then you can request an appeal of the decision. Because visa decisions are made by the Immigration Office in Brussels (the embassy/consulate/VAC simply forwards your application to them), then you have to lodge your appeal there. You have to send the appeal letter through post within 30 days of receiving the decision to the Conseil du Contentieux des étrangers/Raad voor Vreemdelingenbetwistingen.

If My Visa Is not Granted, Can I Get a Refund of the Visa Fee?

The visa fee is non-refundable because it covers the costs and time involved in processing your application. Even if your application is denied, please be aware that you won’t receive a refund.

Collect Your Passport

Depending on which visa application center or Belgian embassy you applied to, there are three ways you can collect your passport:

  • You can pick it up yourself. Once you are notified that your application has been processed, then you can go to the visa application center or Belgian embassy and pick up your passport yourself.
  • You can have it couriered over. Most visa application centers have the option to send you the passport via a courier service. You will have to pay an extra fee for the courier, but it means not having to make the trip yourself.
  • Someone else can pick it up for you. You can authorize someone to pick it up for you by providing an authorization letter or proof of relationship to you, the visa application checklist, a copy of your ID as well as the original and a copy of your representative’s ID.

When you submit your application, the Belgian embassy or appointed visa application service will notify you of how you can receive your passport.

How to Enter Belgium?

When you receive your passport with the visa attached to it, you can enter Belgium within the dates specified on your visa sticker. Once you arrive in Belgium, at the border check, you may be required to present the following documents to the immigration authorities:

  • Your passport with the visa sticker attached.
  • Evidence of sufficient financial means.
  • Proof of accommodation in Belgium.
  • Proof of travel insurance.
  • Proof of a return or onward ticket.

Is It Possible to Extend My Belgium Visa?

You may apply for an extension of your short-stay visa if you have compelling personal reasons, force majeure, or humanitarian reasons preventing you from leaving Belgium before the end of your authorized duration of stay.

You must apply for a Belgium visa extension at the municipal administration of your place of residence by submitting the documents listed below:

  • Copy of your passport (including identifying features, visa, entry, and exit stamps)
  • Copy of the declaration of arrival (if applicable)
  • Letter explaining the reasons for requesting the extension
  • Documentation supporting your reasons for extension
  • Proof of Schengen medical travel insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros for the entire duration of your stay.

The Belgian Immigration office makes a decision on your extension application; if the application is positive, there are two options:

  • The municipal administration will extend your declaration of arrival.
  • You will receive an invitation to visit the Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, located at 27 Rue des Petits Carmes, 1000 Brussels. Appointments for this visit must be made via e-Appointment.

The extension in cases of force majeure or humanitarian reasons. However, if your extension is justified by compelling personal reasons, you’ll need to pay a fee of EUR 30.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I Overstay My Belgium Schengen Visa?

If you exceed your visa’s allowed stay in Belgium, you could face serious repercussions such as fines, deportation, entry bans, or even arrest. It’s important to follow your visa’s rules to avoid these consequences.

Can I Work While I Am in Belgium With a Schengen Visa?

No, you cannot take up employment with a Schengen visa in Belgium. This visa can be used for short visits, business, tourism, or other non-work-related activities.

Can I Visit Other Schengen Countries with a Belgium Visa?

Yes, you can visit other countries within the Schengen Area with a Belgium visa (unless you have a Limited Territorial Validity Visa). Belgium must be your main destination; any days you spend outside of Schengen will be deducted from your allowed 90 days.

Other information

Data Protection

Your personal data during the visa application process is protected and stored in accordance with Articles 13 and 14 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (General Data Protection Regulation).If you have any concerns about the security of your data, you can contact the Federal Foreign Office Data Protection Commissioner as follows:

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