Visa for non-EEA students (including doctoral scholarship holders)

Visa needed?

  • Coming from your home country: consult the list of countries that are required to hold a visa.
  • Non-EU mobility students with a valid residence permit in another EU country can come visa-free to Belgium. The Belgian program coordinator will take care of it. (see information further down the web page).

If a visa is requested always contact the Belgian diplomatic post in your home country.

Be sure to apply for the correct visa. Changing from one visa type to another is not always possible.

Applying for a short-stay visa (Schengen visa)

If you wish to stay in Belgium for up to 90 days, you may have to apply for a Schengen visa depending on your nationality.

Schengen area: List of the Schengen countries.

Check to verify if you need a Schengen visa.

Applications can be introduced up to 90 days in advance and at least 15 calendar days prior to the intended departure date.

Here you find general information and here you find specific information on the Belgian situation.

Required documents

  • National passport (valid for more than 3 months when you will leave Schengen)
  • Document presenting proof of intended purpose of your planned visit ‘Standaardformulier’ (Standard Form for students), added at the bottom of your Letter of Invitation
  • Travel insurance valid for the whole Schengen area and covering the whole period of intended residence with a min. coverage 30.000 EUR.
  • Proof of solvency, showing sufficient financial means for the whole period of stay.
    Required min. is 95 EUR/day when staying in a hotel/guesthouse, or 45 EUR/day when accommodation is offered. Proof of financial solvency can be proven by:
    • Scholarship document
    • Credit card with a limit in accordance to the min. amounts + bank statements of the last 3 months of the bank account linked to the card.
    • Traveler cheques
    • Cash amount in a convertible currency
  • A document proving the intention of leaving Schengen at the end of the intended period of stay.

Non-EEA citizens who do not require a short-stay visa

Following documents may be checked at the border upon arrival in Belgium:

  • National passport (more than 3 months valid when you will leave Schengen)
  • Document presenting the intended purpose of your planned visit
  • Proof of travel insurance
  • For all certainty, bring a proof of solvency

Applying for a long stay student visa (type D)

If the intended stay lasts longer than 3 months, a national long-stay visa (type D) is required. Request the authorization to stay in Belgium for longer than 3 months at the Belgian diplomatic post or Visa Application Center.

ALWAYS contact the Belgian embassy/consulate in home country first for help to apply for the right visa. In most countries, a visa application center (e.g. VFS) handles visa procedures for Belgium.

Special attention for applying at the Belgian Embassy or Consulates General in PR China: an APS certificate may be a condition for obtaining a student visa.


VERY IMPORTANT: start your visa application as soon as you get your Letter of Admission with the 'standaardformulier' (Standard Form) added at the bottom.
Otherwise you will risk not getting your visa in time for the start your studies.

Required documents

  • Travel document or national passport in which the visa can be affixed
  • Visa application form (double copy)
Name and address of inviting organization: Universiteit Gent – Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25 – B-9000 Ghent
Telephone number of organization and information about the contact person:
Laïla Boulyou, International Relations Office, Korte Meer 9, B-9000 Ghent
Postal address: IRO, Rectoraat Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25, B-9000 Ghent

Students should not enter Belgium on a tourist visa if they intend to stay longer than 90 days. Ghent University will not support an application for a change of status or visa.

European Mobility students who start the program at Ghent University

If Belgium is the first country of the Erasmus Mobility program, apply for a type D visa with code B-35. With this code B-35, you will get a residence permit for 2 years during which you can travel visa free to other universities of the mobility program within the Schengen zone (except Ireland and Denmark).

    Applying for a visa for family reunion (type D)

    Here you can read all information about where, when and how to apply for this type of visa. Since the processing time of this type of visa may be long, it is only worth applying when you intend to stay for a long period of time (i.e. more than one academic year).

    What documents does Ghent University issue?

    • Exchange students: Ghent University will provide you with a Letter of Invitation with the ‘Standaardformulier’ (Standard Form) added at the bottom. This Standard Form proves that you are admitted as an exchange student at Ghent University.
    • Degree students (incl. PhD students): Ghent University will provide you with a Letter of Admission with the ‘Standaardformulier’ (Standard Form) added at the bottom. This Standard Form proves that you are admitted to a full-time study program at Ghent University.
    • Staff: The HR team of Ghent University will apply for a single permit.
    Important note: admission as a student at Ghent University does not automatically guarantee a visa.

    In any event, the decision on whether a visa will be granted to you remains with the diplomatic post (mostly after consulting the Immigration Department).

    How is my visa progressing?

    The processing time of visa applications depends on the purpose and duration of the intended stay. Read more about how to follow the situation of your application.

    Need extra help on Visa issues?

    For non-standard situations, you might need some extra information or advise. AFTER consulting the diplomatic post or the visa application center in your home country, you can contact