A number of distinctions are made with respect to nationality. The most important one is that between nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA nationals. EEA nationals may reside in all the other EEA member states. Non-EEA citizens need a visa or an authorisation to enter and stay in Belgium. Special arrangements apply for Switzerland while Monaco follows the French regulations.
Another group is made up of nationals of a member state of the Council of Europe and of the European Higher Education Area. These distinctions have more of a bearing on admission requirements for study and the corresponding tuition fee.
Chinese students that want to study in Flanders at universities or university colleges need an APS certificate issued by DAAD Beijing, with which Flanders has a cooperation agreement.
picture, © Plantijn University College
Before you start your studies in Flanders, please visit the Belgian Embassy or Consulate in your country.
Students from EEA member states (European Union + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) do not need a visa.
Non-EEA students should apply for an Authorisation for Provisional Stay. This type of visa (in Dutch: Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) allows the holder to stay in Belgium for a period longer than three months. This visa is also referred to as Visa Type D. For non-EEA students, the Authorisation for Provisional Stay is also commonly known as student visa. As a rule you must apply for this visa at the Belgian Consulate or Embassy in your country or in the country where you legally reside, and not the public authorities in Belgium itself. If there is no Belgian consulate or embassy in your country, you may submit your application to the Belgian consulate or embassy in a neighbouring country.
Never enter Belgium on a tourist visa if you intend to stay longer than 90 days or three months.
When visiting the embassy or consulate you will need the following documents:
Foreign students have to register at the city hall within eight days after arrival in Belgium. The local authorities will issue an identity document for a foreign student temporarily living in Belgium. This document will allow you to enter and leave the country. It will also show the exact duration of stay.
See also the Study in Flanders web page: Checklist.
♦ Flemish Department of Education and Training
Koning Albert II-laan 15, B-1210 Brussel
call + 32 (0)2 553 50 70
♦ Immigration Service of the Federal Public Service Home Affairs
World Trade Center
Antwerpsesteenweg 59 b, B-1000 Brussel
call + 32 (0)2 206 15 99
fax + 32 (0)2 206 14 63
♦ Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs
Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation
Karmelietenstraat 15, B-1000 Brussel
call + 32 (0)2 501 81 11
The Hague Conventions on Private International Law: http://www.hcch.net/index_en.php