Visa for Belgium
Mandatory Passenger Locator Form for travel to Belgium
From August, 1st, all persons returning to Belgium and all persons travelling through Belgium and who are staying at least 48 hours must fill out an identification form (Passenger Locator Form). You can find this form here.
Mandatory negative test result for travel to Belgium
As from 25 December 2020, all non-residents older than 6 who wish to travel to Belgium must provide a negative PCR COVID test result no older than 72 hours before departure. The test results must be in Dutch, French, German or English. More information on this website.
Essential Travel Certificate
Travelers who do not have the nationality of a country of the European Union or of the Schengen zone must be in possession of an essential travel certificate. This certificate is delivered by a Belgian diplomatic or consular post in order to certify the essential nature of the travel.
An essential travel certificate is not required in the following situations:
The certificate is required in all other situations (nationalities exempt from visa requirements for a short stay, holders of a visa issued before 18/03/2020 by a Belgian diplomatic or consular post, ...).
The European Commission has decided to launch a public consultation on the perspective of digitalisation of the visa procedure (E-visa) and on the creation of an EU online visa application portal, aimed at a target audience: the travel industry, European agencies directly or indirectly linked to the EU visa policy, visa applicants and the general public. Read more...
For general information on Visas for Belgium, please refer to the website of our outsourcing partners (Visa Application Centre) VFS.
If you have already applied for a visa via the Visa Application Centre, you can check the status of your application at any time by using the visa Application tracker service at the VFS website.
Processing time of a visa application for studies
It is recommended that the student applies for a visa as soon as possible and ideally before Friday 30 July 2021.
According to Article 34 of Directive 2016/801, the decision must be taken at the latest within 90 days from the date of submission of the complete request. Although this deadline is not yet written into the Act of 15 December 1980, the Immigration Office is doing its utmost to make its decision within the deadline set out in the Directive.
As the deadline for enrolment in all higher education institutions is 31 October, a complete visa application should therefore be submitted ideally before 30 July 2021.
Given the large volume of visa applications to be processed in a short period of time, the Immigration Office cannot guarantee that a decision will be made on a date that will allow the student applicant who has submitted his or her visa application after 30 July 2021, to travel to Belgium and enrol in a higher education institution before the weekend of 30 & 31 October 2021
COVID-19 : Closing of the EU external borders and impact on visa
Due to the COVID-19 crisis and after proposal of the European Commission, the state and government leaders of the member states have decided to temporally close the external borders of the EU for all non-essential travel from third countries to the EU. The temporary travel restriction will apply for 30 days. Possible prolongation of this period will be assessed depending on further developments. Please follow the latest developments on the website of the Immigration Office.
Therefore, the Embassy of Belgium/Consulate General of Belgium in Shanghai/Consulate of Belgium in Guangzhou will not accept new visa applications, nor deliver visas anymore. The few limited exceptions are listed below:
The temporary travel restriction will apply to all non-essential travel from third countries to the EU+ area. For such a temporary travel restriction to have the desired effect in terms of restricting the spread of the virus, exceptions need to be limited to travel for essential purposes.
Nationals of all EU Member States and Schengen Associated States, regardless if they travel home or not, are exempted from the temporary travel restriction . This exemption applies to:
- all EU citizens and citizens of the Schengen Associated States, and their family members;
- third-country nationals who are long-term residents under the Long-term Residence Directive and persons deriving their right to reside from other EU Directives or national law or who hold national long-term visas.
Travellers with an essential function or need are as well exempted, including:
- Healthcare professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals;
- Frontier workers;
- Transport personnel engaged in haulage of goods and other transport staff to the extent necessary;
- Diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers in the exercise of their functions;
- Passengers in transit;
- Passengers travelling for imperative family reasons;
- Persons in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons.
- Third-country nationals traveling to Belgium for studies;
- Third-country nationals, highly qualified, if their job in Belgium is necessary from an economic point of view and if their work cannot be postponed or executed from abroad.
Coordinated and reinforced health checks will be carried out for the individuals allowed to enter the EU+ area.
 The “EU+ area” includes all Schengen Member States (including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania), as well as the four Schengen Associated States. It would also include Ireland and the United Kingdom if they decide to align.
 Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland.
 UK nationals are still to be treated in the same way as EU citizens until end 2020.
 Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents, OJ L 16, 23.1.2004, p. 44.
 Including those having been repatriated through consular assistance.
 Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services, 16.3.2020, C(2020) 1753 final.
Who is a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement and who is not?
How does this affect family members of a UK national who need a Schengen visa?
Please find the answers to your questions on the following link: https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/EN/Application-guides/Pages/Brexit-2.aspx
What type of visa (short stay - long stay?)
Short stay visa (visa type C) authorizes you to stay on Schengen territory for a term not longer than 3 months during a period of 6 months starting from your first entry on the territory.
Long stay visa (visa type D) authorizes you to stay in Belgium for a period longer than 90 days (students, researchers, workers, family reunification, …).
The single permit (work and residence) comes into effect on 1 january 2019
Simplification of the procedure for third-country nationals who apply for authorization to stay and to work in Belgium (single permit) :
As from 03/01/2019, third-country nationals wishing to work in Belgium for more than 90 days will apply to the competent Region, through their employer, for a single application for a work permit and a request for a residence permit. The proof of payment of the administrative fee will have to be submitted. (The Embassy/Consulate of Belgium has no role in this process).
If the work permit and residence permit are granted respectively by the Region and the Immigration Office, the third-country national will receive a single document stating that he/she is authorized to stay for more than 90 days in Belgium for work.
The "single application / single permit" procedure does not apply to:
- third-country nationals traveling to Belgium to work less than 90 days;
- third-country nationals who go to Belgium for purposes other than work;
- au pairs;
- researchers with a hosting agreement;
- highly qualified workers (European Blue Card);
- workers who are subject to an intra-corporate transfer (Directive 2014/66/EU of 15/05/2014);
- trainees from the Flemish Region.
The visa application will only be submitted at the end of the process, when the single permit has been granted. The applicant should submit a visa application type D with his/her passport and the single permit and pay the visa fee at the VFS Centre where fingerprints will be collected.
Details about the documents to submit : click here
For more information about the single permit, please visit the following website : www.dofi.fgov.be
Implementation of visa biometrics starting 12 October 2015
Starting October 12th, 2015, all applicant for a Schengen visa will need to personally present themselves in order to have their biometric date registered.
Visa applications will be processed faster thanks to the use of biometrics (finger prints and a digital photograph). It will allow visa holders to be identified faster and this way identity theft can be countered.
The procedure to take finger prints is easy, quick and discrete. The applicant will only have to place his or her fingers on the digital scanner. If he or she wants to reapply for a visa within five years, new finger printing will not be required: the previous data stored in the Visa Information System (VIS) will be re-used. After five years the finger print data will be deleted.
When a visa holder arrives at the border, Schengen border control officers will use the VIS to check the identity and verify if the visa is genuine. Quick, easy and reliable biometric checks will help to prevent visa fraud. Honest applicants, the clear majority, will therefore be able to go through a faster procedure.
What documents to foresee?
Please consult the website of VFS for a checklist of supporting documents required, depending on the purpose of your trip to Belgium.
From 10 August 2011 onwards, a harmonised list of supporting documents for business travel/conferences/fairs is imposed to persons who are subject to visa (C) requirement and residing in China. This is the result of an Implementing Decision of the European Commission. Please consult the VFS website for this list.
Where can I hand in my visa application?
If you live in China
The Visa applications have to be handed in at one of the offices of our visa outsourcing partner VFS.
We currently have 15 Visa Application Centers (VAC):
3/F, Guangdong Development Bank Tower, 555 Xujiahui Road
200023 Shanghai - China
Room 388, 3F, Chengjian Mansion, 189 Tiyu Rd (West)
Room 50128, 1/F, Galaxy SOHO, No.2 Nanzhugan Hutong, Chaoyangmennei Street
Floor 3, Tongjian Pavilion, no.4, consulate district, Xi 'an Chanba Avenue, Chanba ecological district,
Shanxi Province, 710000
33-F, 33rd Floor
HNA-Poly International Centre
235 Minsheng Road
Chongqing City, 400000
2F-A01, Second floor, Xin Feng Commercial G11 Center, 266-272 Xin Feng Road
Jiangsu Province, 310000
Room 1002, 10F, No.6 Fu Rong Tian Di Plaza
No. 2-4 Shiji Road
Liaoning Province, 110000
Room 1707-1710, Builiding C of Hanjie International Headquarters
No. 171 of Zhongbei Road
Hubei Province, 430000
No.5-6 Conference Room, 2/F
White Swan Hotel
No.258, Xiangfu Zhong Road
Hunan Province, 410000
10. Chengdu (temporarily closed as from 25.12.2020)
Unit 15-18, Building 11
4th Section, South Renmin Road
Sichuan Province, 610000
West Zone, North Gate, GCIG Building
Fuhua 1 Road
Guangdong Province, 518000
5th Floor, CITIC Plaza
No. 150 Luoyuan Avenue
Shangdong Province, 250000
No.188 Lushan Road
Jiangsu Province, 210000
Floor 4, Sanmu Mansion
No.93 Qunzhong Dong Road
Fujian Province, 350000
1502A, Building 5
No. 1079 Beijing Road
Yunnan Province, 650000
Your Visa application has to be handed in at your competent VAC based on:
- The address of you “hukou”
- Your address of residence (based on a justification document, a temporary resident card,…)
Holders of official passports (service, diplomatic or public affairs) and family members of EU citizens covered by Directive 2004/38 can introduce their Visa application directly at the Visa Section of the Embassy or Consulates General competent for their place of residence:
Embassy in BEIJING
3, San Li Tun Dongsan Jie
100600 Beijing – China
+86 10 6532 1736
Consulate General in GUANGZHOU
R&F Center Unit 2, 7th Floor, 10 Huaxia Lu, Zhujiang Xin Cheng
510623 Guangzhou - China
+86 20 387 723 51
+86 20 387 723 56
+86 20 387 723 53
Consulate General in SHANGHAI
Wu Yi Lu, 127
200050 Shanghai - China
+86 21 643 766 28
+86 21 643 765 79
+86 21 643 767 72
+86 21 643 770 41
For residents of Mongolia
When a short stay visa is required (maximum of 90 days, type C-Schengen), please address your Visa Request to the German Embassy in Ulan Bator that represents Belgium in this matter.
For opening hours, the address and other practical information, please refer to their website.
The representation is however only valid for short stay Schengen visas (maximum stay of 90 days). The short stay visa applications that may result in a prolonged stay (e.g. marriage in Belgium, cohabitation,…), cannot be introduced at the German Embassy but have to be processed by the Belgian Embassy in Beijing through its Visa Application Center.
When a long stay visa is needed (more than 90 days, type D, Belgian) please hand in your file at our Visa Application Center.
Please consult this notice.
After arrival in Belgium/Schengen Area
The Embassy/Consulate General is not competent to handle immigration matters after you have arrived in Belgium. In case you want to extend your visa, replace a lost visa or change the type of visa, you need to contact the Belgian immigration authorities. Their contacts and extensive information can be found on www.dofi.fgov.be.
What to do in case your visa has been refused?
In case of refusal the applicant will be notified in written about the reasons for this refusal.
The refusal letter will be written in Dutch, French or German, depending on the preference given at the time of application.
As the refusal decision has not been taken by the Embassy or Consulate General but by the Belgian immigration authorities, the Embassy or Consulate General is not competent to comment on this refusal by any means (at the counter, by telephone or in writing).
The applicant can decide to lodge an appeal with the Belgian judicial authorities, as explained in the refusal notice or apply again for a visa with the Embassy or Consulate General.
Documents to download
- For visa applications through VFS, click here.
- Forms for an official short stay visa:
- Forms for an official long stay visa:
- Medical certificate: FR – NL - EN
- List of approved hospitals for visa application
- New contribution for visa LONG stay - D