Belgium Visas, Permits and Immigration

by Jose Marc Castro on August 12, 2009

VISAbelgium200Belgium offers political and economic stability. It also has efficient tax systems with numerous exemptions beneficial to locals and visitors. Belgium provides high quality living standards. A healthy and safe environment is also offered by this country. Its cultural heritage make Belgium among the most visited and respected countries throughout the world.

Belgium has three (3) organizational or administrative areas. These are:

1.    Waloon area – This French speaking land is located in the southernmost portion of Belgium. The capital of Waloon is Namur.
2.    Flemish area – The capital city of this northern Belgium area is Brussels.
3.    Central Brussels area – This is the third and the last administrative region in Belgium. It is located near the northern Flemish area.

The Belgian regional capitals deal with permit applications. Procedures for work permit applications are different in every area. However, such areas have the same legislation.

The rights of foreign nationals to enter, reside in and settle in Belgium are governed by the Law of 15 December 1980 and the Royal Decree of 8 October 1981 on the entry, residence, settlement and expulsion of foreign nationals and by its later amendments.

Foreign Nationals and the required Belgian Visa

1. Citizens of the EU or European Union Member States – The EU member states are composed of Switzerland, Iceland, Monaco, and Norway. Nationals of these countries are free to move and roam around Belgium. EU nationals may stay and live in Belgium on the power of an identity card or a state passport as well as evidence of health insurance. In addition, EU nationals must provide proof of sufficient funds to support their stay in Belgium. An example of this is an employment contract.

2. Citizens whose countries became a member of the European Union on May 1, 2004 – The same principle applies to the citizens of the ten (10) countries that later became a part of the European Union. There is also a 2-year transition period concerning the citizens from eight (8) countries who come to Belgium to take on paid work. These countries include Slovenia, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, and Czech Republic. Within this period, citizens of these countries still need to acquire a work permit. However, “seconded” citizens to Belgium by new or old member states of the European Union are exempted from this policy since they are not required to have work permits.

Non-exempted salaried workers from these countries are free to enter Belgium even without Belgian visas. They just need to acquire a “residence authorization” to register with their city of residence. This authorization may be appended to the work permit at the community where they reside within three (3) months upon arrival at the Belgian consulate or embassy.

3. Other foreign nationals – These are nationals from other countries excluded from the list above willing to stay for more than three months. The Belgian consular and diplomatic authorities are the only ones who deal with this type of visa application.

There are specific procedures put aside for certain situations. Examples of these are employment purposes, studies, family reunification, self-employment, adoption, cohabitation and for a wedding in Belgium. The Alien’s Office will carefully examine and review on a case-to-case basis all the other person-to-person cases. The Alien’s Office also requires applicants to submit there application within the deadline so they can do an investigation whenever it is required. Foreign nationals must go to the nearest municipal authorities upon their entry to Belgium.

Important things to remember:

a)    Translations are done by an under oath translator for Legal documents written in languages other than Dutch, English, German or French.

b)    Present official foreign documents with the original copy as well as the translation following the legalization by local authorities to Belgian diplomats. These documents make up all required legalizations and certified true copies for executive purposes. The Belgian consulate or embassy will return the original copies to the applicants.

c) The handling fee for a short-stay visa (stay not exceeding 90 days) is 60 EUR. For a long-stay visa (stay exceeding 90 days) it is 180 EUR.

An expat in Rest of the World Expat Forum last December 9, 2008 shared other thoughts on Belgian immigration:

Is there a reason you’re moving to Brussels? (I.e. family, girlfriend, etc.) I only ask because you are going to run into a visa issue, as Synthia has already mentioned unless you have EU nationality. If you are moving with family members, make sure you know the work status for your visa, as work visas are extremely difficult to get in Belgium, particularly for someone without a degree and/or local language skills.

In addition, Brussels is a “multi-lingual” enclave in the middle of the Flemish part of Belgium. Many of the “English speaking” employers are either connected with the European Union or with NATO – and jobs with those sorts of institutions are extremely competitive. It could be next to impossible to find a job outside the city of Brussels without speaking Flemish. Language is a very sensitive issue there.

Required Documents for Visa Applications

The Belgian consulate or embassy requires foreign nationals to attach special documents to their Belgian Visa applications. These special documents include:

•    General policies leading higher education – Whenever applicants decide to continue their studies in Belgium, the Belgian Embassy requires medical certification as well as a certificate of good moral behavior or conduct. These are necessary for temporary residence authorization. The applicants must also give:

i. a properly completed application form – the consular or diplomatic authorities provide the application form for Belgium immigration;

ii. enrollment or admission certificate for one of the recognized members of higher education institutions organized by authorities or grant-maintained – this certificate may be an application for an equivalent certificate for diplomas or certificates granted abroad, and it must cover a full 4 or 5-year course, while fewer school hours are still acceptable if the applicants can prove that the course embodies their main activities and complements or prepares them for another full course study; and

iii. special procedures for secondary and primary school education – the Alien’s Office entertains this type of application provided that applicants can show evidence of strong family ties with a 1st to 3rd degree relative living as a legal resident in Belgium, or the applicants can prove that they are incapable of pursuing the type of education they want in their own country or in a neighboring country.

Visa Issuance

Getting a Belgian visa takes two (2) days to eight (8) weeks. It usually depends on the resident status and nationality of the applicant. There are also certain foreign nationals who must personally apply in the Belgian Embassy or Consulate. The type of visa needed for entry into Belgium is dependent on the length and purpose of the trip.

Application Steps for a Belgian Visa

1.    Foreign nationals must apply for a visa at the Belgian Consulate or Embassy in their countries. Whenever their countries do not have a Belgian Consulate or Embassy, they are obliged to apply in a neighboring country with a Belgian Consulate or Embassy.
2.    The embassy will inform applicants if they can present their visa applications in their countries through the embassy of a Schengen country.
3.    Whenever the applicants are traveling, they should apply for a short stay visa in Belgium to be granted up to ninety (90) days in the country.
4.    Foreign nationals must submit their Belgian visa applications to the Immigration Service Department at FPS Home Affairs and wait for a decision.

These procedures cannot be used on applications for long stay visas that grant foreign nationals over ninety (90) days in Belgium.

Visa Validity

The usual valid period of short-stay Belgian visas including single and multiple entry types is six (6) months from the date of issuance.

For transit Belgian visas including single and multiple entry visas, the maximum validity is only five (5) days per entry. This 5-day period includes the day the foreign national arrived at Belgium.

Visa extensions are not permitted. Foreign nationals need to submit new applications each time they want to go back.

Types of Belgian Visas

Applicants must choose the appropriate visa type for their purposes. The Belgian Consulate or Embassy provides advice on the kind of visa suitable for the purposes of foreign nationals. The Schengen visa is a byproduct of the Schengen Agreements.  The following are certain types of Belgian Visas:

1. Type A (Schengen Visa) – This is a type of airport-transit visa. Nationals can generally stay within the international transit region at the airport without the aid of a visa while waiting for the connecting flight. Nevertheless, some foreign nationals are obliged to have a visa even if they do not leave the international transit region’s premises.

2. Type B (Schengen Visa) – This type of visa is applicable for transit throughout the Schengen countries. This transit visa is valid for only five (5) days.

3. Type C (Schengen Visa) – This visa allows the holder to enter Schengen countries for a maximum duration of ninety (90) days within a period of six (6) months. Visas like these are issued for single or multiple entry purposes.

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Dirk January 3, 2010 at 3:10 am

Dear cooperator,

Since 4 years I am working as a Shell secondee in Russia where I (Dutch Nationlity) will marry with a Russian (+2 childeren) this month in Yuzhn-Sakhalinsk.
After having completed my assignment here I intend to apply for a long term stay in Belgium.
My plan is not to work but retire after 32 years employment with Shell. My wife is younger and she wishes to continue her job as a professional hairdresser. Of course the childeren (10 and 15 years) need to follow education. For this we need a long term visa. Please can you inform us if this option is feasible yes or no ?
If indeed possible, what steps should we make. Your information is highly appreciated !
Greetings / Groeten uit Yuzho-Sakhalinsk.
Dirk M. Horst

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WYNDIE April 21, 2010 at 1:15 am

What does TYPE D visa means?

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Mayuresh Malse September 11, 2010 at 4:00 am

I have applied for Belgium Visa – work permit. It is on hold because I have to produce PCC from Indian council and British council. I reside in India but in last one year I have been to UK for 2 months. For 2 months stay in UK, do I have to produce PCC from British council?

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akash February 2, 2011 at 10:28 pm

hi. u need not to produce any paper from UK. indian PCC is fine. as u r indian resident so u hv to give documents only issued from india.

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Belgium visa November 16, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I did not see any type d visa Wyndie

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Jacob October 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm

It's a student visa

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kaleem April 11, 2011 at 6:05 am

hi i have so much need belgium visa if any one can help me so plzzzzzzzzzzzzzz becoz my life there

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Neeti.bhutani April 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Hi,

I am an Indian and my husband is getting a good job oppurtunity in Brussels, Belgium. However, we don't have any friends/acquaintances there. Could anybody please help by letting us know that what kinda Visa can we apply for our dependent parents and the validity for the same?
Also, I have 6.5 years of Mainframe (COBOL/DB2) experience. What kinda job market is there n Brussels for Mainframe professionals?

Any help will be much appreciated 🙂
Neeti

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Charles June 30, 2011 at 7:55 pm

Dear ,

I 'm working in Belgium and I will submit for SPECIAL TAX STATUS as expat.
Can I submit my paper to get a Belgium passport in teh future?
Thanks for your feedback.

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Sayed May 10, 2012 at 10:21 am

Hey Charles… I have the same situation.. did u get the answer? .. Would u plz let me know… because i am also going to file Special tax reduction !! Thanks for ur help..

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S M Rezaul Hoque July 31, 2011 at 4:47 am

I am Bangladeshi by birth. Completed M.Sc degree in statistics from University of Dhaka. Working as statistician at MIS, DGHS. I have two kids, on son (7) & daughter (5) as well wife. Now I am willing to permanently live and stay in Belgium. How I can apply to get VISA? Will you help me in this regard?
Thanks so much and appreciate

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MFmanjla Prasad September 23, 2011 at 11:45 am

l am manjula from Sri Lanka I like to visit Belgium .

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U K Sushil November 23, 2011 at 10:39 am

I am Bangladeshi by birth. Completed M.Com (Management) National University and MBA (Finance & Banking) Southern University. Now I am willing to permanently live and stay in Belgium. How I can apply to get VISA? Will you help me in this regard?
Thanks & Best Regards,

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Rabih Hassan December 1, 2011 at 6:05 am

am Rabih from Lebanon, I am currently working in Saudi Arabia and I would like to obtain for Belgium Visa – work permit

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Hitesh March 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Hi

I am applying for Belgium long term visa. I have to submit Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) for last 1 year as one of the documents.
I had been to Saudi Arabia for 3.5 months on business visa. And Saudi Arabia government does not provide PCC for people on Business Visa.
My query is : Is PCC from saudi also required, as i was on business visa ? Are there any other documents that can be submitted instead of PCC in this case?

Request your help and advice on the same

Thanks and Regards,

Reply

asad July 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm

hi
my wif e is belgium national. she is working in old age home as a nurse catagory and when she returns to belgium from dubai she was pregnant. now my question is what kind of documents i have to provide to belgium embassy and if i provide my wife medical reports will it be helpfull in getting visa early. we married in pakistan but as i am working in dubai can i apply from UAE.

kindly suggest me with your best knowledge

looking forward to your reply

thanks nad regards

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reda el amari July 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm

hi my name is reda i live in morocco .i have a wife from netherland she was just move to belguim2 mounths ago .i want go see her for a short time i dont know what peapers i need and what i must do .and i if i want go stay there with her i dont know what i do .
i wish i get help
thx so much

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aby September 5, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Are you aware of the visa process of general nurses from India? If so how long they can work there?Are you providing P R for them? W How much you pay as salary? comment about assistant nurses post.

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nyezzz December 27, 2012 at 11:11 am

hi everybody, i would like to ask about my situition,.,,i am from philippines and i have a belgian boyfriend. and we have plan to get married here in belgium. is it possible to do that even if i have a aupair visa in denmark??? with out going back to phlippines???

thanks, and look forward to hear from you 🙂

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nyezzz December 27, 2012 at 11:29 am

hi everyone, i am aupairing at the moment in holland and next month i will move to denmark next month, and my boyfriend just proposed me a married,i am from philippines and he is belgian, so my question is, is it possible to get married in belgium w/o going back to philippines?

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Rajani Maharjan February 20, 2013 at 6:33 am

Hello and Namaskar, I am from nepal i want to visit and work in belgium, is it possible ? Because i have no money to go there.
i need help.
Thank you 🙂

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eby February 27, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Hello my name is eby working in kuwait as electrical technician i would like to work in belgium
so if any body can help .i can manage all expence only i need help
thanks

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Guest March 13, 2013 at 9:37 am

My husband is ging to brussels for short term, around a month. I also want to join him. But I am also working and my company has work from home option. So, I want to do work from there. Is it possible to work there on a dependent VISA?

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Raj May 9, 2013 at 4:59 am

I am applying for Belgium long term visa. I have to submit Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) for last 1 year as one of the documents.
I had been to Saudi Arabia for 11.5 months on business visa. And Saudi Arabia government does not provide PCC for people on Business Visa.
My query is : Is PCC from saudi also required, as i was on business visa ? Are there any other documents that can be submitted instead of PCC in this case?

Request your help and advice on the same

Thanks and Regards,

Reply

Sandeep July 22, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Hi i am a student living in Belgium from more than an year, this year i am changing my course as the the course which i enrolled in past is not going to help me in future and it was a wrong choice of me 🙁 now i decided to start a new course which is more related to work experience which i have, as i was planning to quit the course i did not write the exams for the old course, will there be any problem when i go for visa extension in october, I am a non-european. hopeing to get some advice . thank you.

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Myrna Vicenal August 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm

hi good evening, i want to apply for a tourist visa to Belgium, I am living in Turkish republic of North Cyprus. Where can i submit my application form, since we are not allowed to cross in South Cyprus., The Belgian Embassy is in South Cyprus. Is there any Honorary Consulate here in North Cyprus??please help. Thank you.

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Naghmeh May 3, 2014 at 5:42 am

Hi

I have a scholarship for PhD for four years in Belgium. I want my husband to join me in here. I need to know if he can work here?As you said “work visas are extremely difficult to get in Belgium” ,I need to know what are his chances and what type of visa I should apply for him?
“Family members accompanying the person, who is going to work in Belgium, have to apply for the appropriate visa for “Family reunion”.”
I have a student visa.

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Thapa kumar July 2, 2014 at 8:19 am

I just want to visit Belgium with my 2more friends from Russia is it possible to get visa.

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shruti July 13, 2014 at 5:42 pm

My husband is working in belgium from last 4 months,and i wish to visit belgium for a short stay,i have residence visa from Dubai,and i am in india from last 4 months,,,do i need a police clearance certificate from dubai to apply Belgium visa,,what type of visa should i apply to avoid complications.

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jason July 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

Hi i am an English National living in Belgium, I work in the Netherlands and i have a chinese Girlfriend who has a student visa in the Netherlands. She is pregnant and in her final year of her Masters degree. Please can you advise me what is the process for her to live with me in Belgium.

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glaivy July 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Hi,
I am a Filipino citizen married to a German guy,.. I have a friend in Belgium who is visiting in Philippines every year.. He is inviting me to visit Belgium, will it be easy for me to apply a schengen visa? My friend will sponsor my trip and accommodation. As the gratitude for my hospitality for four years..

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narmatha August 5, 2014 at 9:15 am

Hi,

Is there any online portal to track the belgium work permit application?

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jona August 31, 2014 at 8:14 pm

Hi all.
I am from philippines working here in kuwait as a Domestic Helper. I have a friend and Belguim and I want to visit there. Could I apply the visa here in kuwait? And anyone know what requirements should I need too.

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Rebecca September 2, 2014 at 11:55 pm

My Boyfriend is Belgian and we are starting to talk about living together. I am Canadian, is there a way to stay in Belgium for longer then 3 months at a time? He owns his company so it makes more sense to go there. If we got married would it make it easier to move there?

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liaqatahmadzai September 9, 2014 at 5:36 am

Please give me some information about beljium visa to how can I achieve this visa

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khalid September 13, 2014 at 5:27 pm

I am british,I am moving to live in belgium and i want my wife to join from morocco.what do we need to do to get a long term visa or a spouse visa??
Please get back to me asap.
Many thanks

Khalid

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Esmaeel Ibraheem September 27, 2014 at 5:26 pm

I have a schingen multi-entry visa type C, issued by the The Netherland embassy in Amman Jordan for a duration of 45 days until the end of October 2014. I visited Holland and returned to my country, Iraq. Would it be possible that I can enter Belgium as a visitor/ tourist flying directly from my country ?

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Wilhelmina October 3, 2014 at 11:56 am

Is the family reunion visa is only applicable for spouses or partner?

I want to petition my mother in Belgium as she is registered as my defendant anyways..is that possible as it is under with the long term visa?

thanks in advance for the reply..

Mina

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Ange February 16, 2015 at 11:19 am

Hello!
Is there any special treatment for employees working in regional and international companies/organizations based in Belgium? (e.g those working at EU headquarters, OTAN,…)

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Safiullah April 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Hi
My name is Safiullah I am from Afghanistan is it possible I live in Belgium

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Sirsakamal Talapatra September 9, 2015 at 5:03 am

Hello!
My name is Sirsakamal and I’m a citizen of India. I wish to settle in Belgium owing to personal issue. Is it possible for me to get a job there or be self-employed?

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rr September 29, 2016 at 1:54 pm

hello every one if i come belgium can i stay illiGle and get job and apply for card

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Erald March 9, 2019 at 3:26 pm

I am from Albania and I was banned from belgium and it was told to me that the ban was 4 years.Now these years have past.What should I do to enter without problems again in EU???How should I make the request to see my name database in SIS by post or by mail?

Reply

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