Which type of visa do you need? What are the visa requirements for your nationality? Which administrative steps will have to be taken once you arrive in Belgium? In this section we help you find the answers.
Types of visas
Visa requirements depend on the length of your stay, your nationality and the purpose of your stay.
EEA nationals (European Union + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, Monaco) and Swiss nationals do not need a visa to enter Belgium.
Belgian immigration law requires most non-EEA nationals who come to study to apply for a student visa before coming to Belgium. This visa will ensure that you have the proper permission to enter Belgium. Students who intend to stay longer than 90 days should not enter Belgium on a tourist visa.
You have to initiate the visa application via the Belgian embassy or consulate for your country of residence. The contact details of all Belgian embassies and consulates worldwide can be found here. Please note that in many cases you have to make an appointment to submit your visa application and appointment schedules get full quickly in certain periods of the year. Start your visa application process as early as possible. The normal procedure can easily take up six to eight weeks.
Types of visas:
- A short-stay visa (type C) allows the holder to travel between and stay freely in all of the Schengen area member countries. This visa, also known as the Schengen visa, is only applicable to a short stay of maximum 90 days (in any 180-day period). Students holding a residence card issued by another Schengen country, which is still valid until after their return to their country of residence/home country, may enter and stay in Belgium without a visa for maximum 90 days (in any 180-day period).
- A long-stay visa (type D) is also called Authorisation for Provisional Sojourn (in Dutch: Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf). It allows the holder to enter Belgium for a period longer than 90 days.
One of the visa requirements to start preparing well in advance is the proof of solvency. This means that you have to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself during your studies. The minimal amount required for 2019-2020 is €666.00 per month, but this minimal amount may increase, so check the most up to date information here.
There are three acceptable types of the proof of solvency: a scholarship, proof of your own financial means or the form "the commitment that charge will be taken". For self-supporting students, providing proof of your own financial means using the "blocked account" procedure is the most recommended. Your Flemish host institution can help you with this procedure, so don't hesitate to ask how it works.
To apply for a long-stay visa (type D) you need the following documents:
- Admission letter (or a permission to enrol at a Flemish higher education institution)
- Valid passport: with at least 12 months validity remaining at the moment of your visa application
- Proof of solvency
- Certificate of good conduct
- Medical certificate
- Proof of payment of the supplementary administrative fee
- Chinese students who want to study at a Flemish university or university of applied sciences (and arts) need an APS certificate issued by DAAD Beijing, with whom Flanders has a cooperation agreement.
All information about obtaining a visa for Belgium and which documents are required is available via the Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs and the Foreigners Department of the FPS Home Affairs.
Upon your arrival: register at the city hall
Upon arrival in Belgium, it is mandatory for EEA and non-EEA students to register at the town or city hall of their place of residence in Belgium, as soon as possible.
In order to receive a registration certificate, you will need to bring the following documents to the city hall:
- Your passport or identity card
- Your certificate of registration at a Flemish higher education institution
- Your proof of health insurance coverage
- Recent passport photograph(s) (maximum six months old)
- A copy of your student accommodation rental contract (if already available).
Non-EEA students need these additional documents:
- Your passport with your long-stay visa for Belgium
- Proof of solvency
We advise you to consult the student services of your institution for further information about the procedure.
universities of applied sciences (and arts)
- Antwerp Maritime Academy
- AP University of Applied Sciences and Arts
- Artevelde University of Applied Sciences
- Erasmus Brussels University of Applied Sciences and Arts
- HOGENT University of Applied Sciences and Arts
- Howest University of Applied Sciences
- KdG University of Applied Sciences and Arts
- LUCA School of Arts
- Odisee University of Applied Sciences
- PXL University of Applied Sciences and Arts
- Thomas More University of Applied Sciences
- UCLL University of Applied Sciences
- VIVES University of Applied Sciences
I was also impressed with the country of Belgium; I traveled to many cities during my stay here. Belgian beer and chocolate are really great, I love them!!!