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Step by step guide to applying for a visa to Belgium

You have to apply for a Belgium visa at the Belgian Embassy or Consulate in your country. You should start the application process at least a month before you intend to travel.

How to Apply for a Belgium Visa?

To apply for a Belgium visa, follow the instructions below:

  1. Contact the Belgium Embassy.
  2. Make an appointment.
  3. Fill in your visa application form.
  4. Collect all your documents.
  5. Attend the visa interview.

Step 1: Contact the Belgium Embassy in Your Country

The first step on your visa application journey is to find out where you have to submit your application. To do so, either contact the Belgian Embassy in your country or visit their website. 

You can check the nearest diplomatic mission of Belgium here.

What if There Is No Belgian Embassy in My Country?

In case there is no Belgian embassy or consulate in your homeland, you  can submit your visa application in one of the following:

  • A visa application center to which the Belgian government has outsourced visa applications, such as VFS.
  • The Embassy or Consulate of another Schengen country. If there is no Belgian Embassy in your country, you will have to apply to the embassy in which Belgium has outsourced visa submission.

Step 2: Make an Appointment

As soon as you know where to submit your Belgium visa application, you have to contact the Belgium representation to set up an appointment. You cannot submit your application without a prior appointment. Keep in mind that the embassy/consulate may set your appointment several days to several weeks later.

Step 3: Fill In Your Visa Application Form

The main thing you should do when you start the process of Schengen visa application is to fill in your visa application form:

  • Schengen visa application form for a short trip to Belgium.
  • National Belgium visa application form for extended stays (study, work, family reunion, etc.). The Embassy/Consulate or visa application center should provide the form for you.

If the forms are available online, simply choose the application form you wish to apply for and print it. Start to fill the application. You’ll have to provide personal information such as name and surname, nationality, date, and place of birth, gender, and civil status. You also have to state information like travel purpose, whether you have previously had a Schengen visa, employment status, etc. 

When filling the application form, make sure you read every question carefully and do not leave any fields unfilled. Be aware that the slightest error can bring you to your visa rejection.

After you are done, you have to attach the application form with all the other necessary documents.

Step 4: Collect All Your Documents

Without a doubt, your Belgium visa issuance depends on your documents. If you submit the documents required by the Belgian authorities as accurately as possible, it increases your chances of receiving your visa. 

Some of the required documents for a Belgium visa are a passport, pictures, travel insurance, and application form. Other additional documents change depending on the visa you apply for and where you are from.

Step 5: Submit the Application and Attend The Visa Interview

On the date of your visa appointment, make sure to be on time. You will submit your visa application and attend an interview, usually around 10-15 minutes. You’ll have to answer questions such as your purpose of travel, where you will stay, how you will support yourself, and personal questions.

The answers to all the questions should be truthful. And remember, a good first impression always helps, so keep an adequate posture, try to be polite and friendly, but not too familiar with the interviewer.

Possible Questions During a Belgium Visa Interview

Here you find several possible questions you may be asked when you attend an interview:

  • Are you married? If yes, for how long?
  • Do you have children? If yes, how old and what do they do?
  • Do you have a girlfriend or boyfriend?
  • Are you traveling by yourself or with a companion?
  • Can you show your bank statement?
  • How much do you earn?
  • How much will this trip cost you?
  • Do you have your employer’s authorization to leave your job?
  • Do you have any relatives or friends that live in the Schengen area?
  • Have you been to the Schengen area before?

Questions may vary depending on the type of visa you are applying to; for example, for a student visa, most likely, you will be asked questions regarding the University you have been admitted to study. 

When Should I Pay the Visa Fee?

The payment of the Belgium visa fee depends on the country you are applying to. Most embassies require you to pay the visa fee before you attend your visa interview. However, some embassies ask you to pay the fee in advance and bring a receipt with you. To make sure, check with your local embassy before you apply. 

Belgium Visa Processing Time

After you submit your Belgium visa application, the processing time may take up to 15 days. It can take longer in situations like:

  • Up to 30 days – if the number of people applying for a Belgium visa is too high or because of individual cases.
  • Up to 60 days – in specific cases, such as if the embassy needs to forward your application for further approval in Belgium.

You should always consider the processing time of your visa to calculate the dates of your planned trip and apply for the visa well in advance. You should also consider the time it takes to get a visa appointment to know when to start the application process. 

When to Travel After I Receive the Visa?

The Belgium Embassy will decide when you can travel to Belgium by setting the first date you can enter and the last day you can stay. There is a difference between the duration of stay and visa validity:

Duration of stayThe maximum of days you have the right to stay in the Schengen area.
Visa validityThe period between your visa issue date and expiration date.

What if My Application Is Rejected?

If your application is rejected:

  • You can always apply for a new Belgium visa.
  • You can appeal your rejection.
  • You can apply for a long stay visa to a Schengen country.

How to Apply for a Long Stay Belgian Visa?

The application process for a long-stay visa is the same as for a short-term visa. It may have slight changes during the process depending on the type of long-stay visa you are applying for: 

  • Student visa. To apply for a Belgian student visa, you first need to be accepted to a university or educational institution. Secondly, you need to contact your nearest Belgian embassy. You will wait for a decision from the embassy within one to four weeks and finally receive your residence permit (A card).
  • Work visa. To apply for a Belgian work visa, you need to have a job offer from an employer in Belgium, who must also apply for a work permit on your behalf.
  • Dependent visa. To apply for a Belgian dependent visa, you need proof of your relationships, such as a marriage or civil partnership certificate, or a birth certificate, a medical certificate, proof that you have a place to live, proof of sufficient means of support.

You also need a residence permit if you plan to stay in Belgium for more than three months

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