Visa application stay in Belgium

Nederlandstalige versie

A type D visa for stays of more than 90 days is also known as a Schengen long-stay visa - with single or multiple 'entries'. Besides long stay, there are also short stay visas – Type C. These are stays of less than 90 days and cannot be extended once you have stayed in the Schengen area for 90 days.

When to apply for a visa?

In strictly defined situations, the NON-EEA national can apply for a visa to move to Belgium. This is the case for:

  • (PhD) students who want to stay in Belgium for a long period of time to study.
  • NON-EEA employees residing in Belgium for less than 3 months apply for a short-stay visa (also called a Schengen Visa) if there is no exemption based on nationality for visa C.
  • Researchers and collaborators with an authorization for employment and residence in Belgium, after completion of the single permit procedure.

No visa is therefore applied for by:

Residents of Member States of the European Economic Area and Switzerland do not require a visa. A national passport or identity card suffices.

  • Non-EEA nationals with a permanent right of residence in an EEA country do not need a visa to move to Belgium.
  • For temporary right of residence in the EEA country (= less than 5 years, based on financing or specific status), a visa must be applied for.

Employees or students carrying out mobility between EEA countries: with a valid residence permit as a student or researcher based on a guest agreement, a residence permit based on a single permit can be applied for immediately.

  • Persons with other residence rights (highly skilled, family reunification, ... and temporary residence rights in the member state) do need to apply for a long-stay visa before moving to the member state.

Does the family with NON-EEA nationality of the employee or student wish to move with them? Check the conditions and procedures for family reunification visas here.

Where to apply for a visa?

Apply for permission to stay in Belgium for more than 3 months at the Belgian diplomatic or consular post:

  • at the place of residence
  • or place of temporary/permanent residence abroad.

For most applications, decisions are taken ex officio by the local embassy; unless the decision is taken by the Immigration Office, explicitly decided by the Belgian government. This applies to visa applications from specific nationalities, among others.

Required documents

The employee is responsible for the visa application himself, although DPO is of course happy to help with any questions. It is best to apply to the Belgian embassy in the home country well in advance. The processing time can be several months in certain countries. Belgian embassies in many countries work with 'Visa application centers', which centralize, evaluate and process documents and applications for advice to the Belgian embassy.

You can prepare the application:

  1. Review the required documents on the website of the Belgian embassy in the home country
  2. Provide required translations, legalization and apostilles for documents.
  3. Start the online procedure and make an appointment with the visa application centre or embassy. Most countries require at least 1x attendance for biomedical checks (e.g. fingerprinting)

Overview of required documents for the application:

  • Travel document or national passport in which the visa can be affixed (valid for more than 12 months)
  • Visa application form (duplicate copy)
  • Two recent passport photos
  • For see sufficient funds to pay the visa handling fee (not applicable in all embassies).

To this is added the following per type of application, among others (list not exhaustive, to be viewed on the embassy website):

Employees applying for a long-stay visa on the basis of a single permit:

  • Admission to employment
  • Admission to residence (annex 46)

Short-stay employees (documents depending on nationality):

  • Proof of financial solvency
  • Proof of good conduct and morals
  • Medical certificate

(Phd) Students

  • proof of registration as a student
  • Proof of funding such as scholarship or blocked bank account as proof of solvency

More information?

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