A transit visa allows you to stop in Belgium to change flights or ships while you are on your way to another destination. There are two types of transit visas:

  • Airport Transit Visa. This visa allows you to stay in the international area of the Belgium airport while you wait for your next flight.
  • Transit Visa for Seafarers. A transit Schengen visa for seafarers is a visa that allows you to leave your ship in one of the Schengen seaports for a short time. However, you cannot leave the Schengen seaport, even if you have to stay for the night in Belgium.

You can apply for one of the visas above depending on whether you are traveling by plane or sea.

Who Needs a Visa to Transit in Belgium?

Citizens from the following countries need a transit visa for Belgium, even if they do not leave the international transit area:

  • Afghanistan 
  • Bangladesh
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Dominican Republic
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Nepal
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria  
  • Yemen
  • Palestinians

Exemptions From the Transit Visa Requirement

Even if you are from one of the countries listed above, if you fall in one of the categories listed below, you do not need a visa to transit in Belgium:

  • You have a diplomatic passport.
  • You have a valid uniform visa, residence permit issued by a Member State or national long-stay visa.
  • You have a residence permit issued by Andorra, Canada, Japan, San Marino, or the USA.
  • You have a valid visa or residence permit for a country in the Schengen area, the EU, EEA.
  • You have a valid visa for Japan, Canada, or the USA, or when you return from those countries after you have used your visa.
  • You have a family member who is a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland.
  • You are a flight crew member on the job, who is national of a Contracting Party to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (ICAO).

If You Do Not Leave The International Transit Area

If you are not from one of the countries listed above, you can transit in Belgium without a visa, as long as you stay inside the international transit area. You have to check with your airline whether you will need to leave the transit area to change your flight or collect your luggage before you set off.

Countries With a Visa-Free Agreement With Belgium

If you are from a country with a visa-free agreement with Schengen (such as the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, etc.), you can transit in Belgium without a problem, even if you leave the international transit area.

Can I Leave the Airport With a Belgium Transit Visa?

No, you can not leave the airport with a transit visa unless:

Belgium Transit Visa Requirements

When you apply for a Belgium transit visa, you must collect several documents that the Belgium Embassy requires. You have to be precise with all the documents to have a higher chance of receiving the visa. See the required documents for an Airport transit visa and a Seafarers’ transit visa below.

Requirements to Apply for Airport Transit Visa (ATV):

  • Visa application form. You need to print the application form, fill in all the required information, and sign it.
  • Two pictures. You need two identical photos; one attached to the application form and one to bring to the embassy or consulate. The pictures should be recent.
  • Valid passport. Your passport must be valid and must have at least two blank pages to have space for your visa to be affixed.
  • Proof of your final destination.
    • You have to show your flight ticket reservation for the country you are going to.
    • You have to show the visa of your final destination if you need one.
  • Travel insurance. You need to have travel insurance that covers at least €30,000 in emergencies like:
    • Sudden illness.
    • Physical injuries, severe injuries.
    • Evacuation. 
  • Proof that you have paid your transit visa fee. You need to prove that you have completed the payment of €80 for your transit visa. You should look over Schengen visa fees to make sure if you need to pay for the visa or if you have to pay a reduced fee.

Requirements to Apply for a Transit Schengen Visa for Seafarers:

  • Visa application form. You have to fill it in and sign it.
  • Two recent pictures. You should have two pictures based on how the Schengen visa application requires the photos.
  • Passport. Your passport must be issued within the last ten years, and it must be valid at least three months after you leave the Schengen zone. You may also need to bring a copy of your passport’s data pages.
  • Inviting Shipping Company letter. The inviting Shipping Company in the Schengen country needs to issue you a letter to prove that you will disembark in the Schengen area.
  • Seaman’s book. You should have the original and a copy of your Seaman’s book.
  • Travel insurance. You should have travel medical insurance in case of emergencies. It is valid for all countries that belong to the Schengen zone.
  • Flight reservation. (If applicable).
  • Employment contract.  You should bring the contract you have made with the ship or navigation company so you can board the ship.
  • Proof that you have paid the visa fee. You should prove that you have made the payment for your transit visa of €80. Check the Schengen visa fees to make sure how much you need to pay.

How to Apply for a Belgium Transit Visa?

To apply for a transit visa, you need to:

  1. Schedule an appointment by contacting the Belgium embassy or the consulate. If there is no Belgian embassy/consulate, you have to find out where they have outsourced visa submissions. It could be the embassy or consulate of another country or a visa application center.
  2. Fill the Belgium transit visa application form. The visa application form should be available online at the website of the embassy/consulate or visa application center. Alternatively, you may have to go pick up a physical copy of the form at their offices.
  3. Prepare the required documents. Collect the required documents for a Belgium transit visa application.
  4. Be present at your appointment and bring with you the required documents.
  5. Pay the visa fee.

Duration of a Belgium Transit Visa

While the Belgium transit visa is a short-term visa, it will allow you to stay in the Schengen area for a short period. The duration of a Belgium transit visa depends on whether you are applying for an Airport transit Schengen visa or a transit Schengen visa for Seafarers. 

TypeDuration

Airport Transit Schengen visa
This visa is valid for 24 hours, and you are not allowed to leave the transit area of the Schengen airport.

Transit Schengen visa for Seafarers
This visa allows you to stay for up to five days in the Schengen area before leaving for another country not part of Schengen.