belgium business visa

Belgium Business Visa - Definitive Guide

How often is that a top tourist destination is also a highly preferred business destination? Well, that’s how versatile Belgium is. With its booming economy, Belgium has one of the most advanced economies in Europe. With over a quarter of the overall private sector businesses being foreign-owned, the country is quite welcoming to foreign investment. The entrepreneurial culture makes it a smart idea to start a business in Belgium. However, not everyone has ease of access to enter the country. Most of the countries outside the EU require a particular type of visa known as the Belgium business visa to enter Belgium for business purposes.

What is a Belgium business visa?

To enter Belgium for the sole purpose of business, one requires a type of short term visa ( visa C) called the Belgium business visa. The business visa allows an individual to travel to the country to take part in business-related activities such as attending business meetings, partner or client meetings, to inquire about new opportunities for business in Belgium, take part in business fairs, and so on. The business visa, like all short term Schengen visas,  it is valid for a duration of 90 days in a 180 day period. However, if you require to travel to multiple Schengen countries, you can ask for a multiple entry Belgium business visa

How to apply for a Belgium business visa?

To apply for a visa to perform activities relating to business in Belgium, you first need to determine the exact point and purpose of your visit as you will need this to select the appropriate documents, and also would be asked about in the visa interview. You then need to decide how you will be submitting the documents. You can choose to submit it directly to a Belgian embassy/consulate, or to a Belgian outsourced visa application center (VAC). After this, you can follow the following steps - 

  1. Create an account on the Belgian embassy website.
  2. Login into your account and fill in the application form with your personal details.
  3. Choose your visa appointment date and venue.
  4. Take a print out of the copy of the application form you receive via the registered email address.
  5. Attend the visa appointment along with your documents and application form. You will have to fees at the VAC, or Embassy/Consulate as per your choice. 
  6. Once your visa application has been submitted, it will be processed by the Belgian embassy.
  7. You will receive a confirmation from the embassy if your visa has been approved or rejected. In certain cases, they might ask you to submit additional documents.

Please note that if there are complications regarding your application, such as incorrect details, wrong or invalid documents, and any other issues, you may be asked to attend a visa interview at the Embassy/Consulate.

It is vital to ensure that your application is accurate and without any flaws. Incorrect applications may cause in a delay of your visa processing, or in extreme cases, lead to the visa being rejected. A visa denial might cause major complications in any future visa applications. 

Eligibility for Belgium Business Visa

Any individual who does not belong to a country that has a visa facilitation agreement with the EU needs a Belgium business visa to enter the country for professional activities. Further, 

  • You have to be a citizen of the country you are applying from, or
  • You have to be a citizen living on a temporary resident permit in a foreign country you are applying from.
  • You need to have a legal business purpose for the visit such as to expand your business in Belgium, attend conferences, etc.
  • You should know exactly why you are planning to do business in Belgium.
  • You need to have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of intended travel and has at least 2 blank pages.
  • You only require a Belgium visa if Belgium is your only business destination, or
  • Belgium is one of your multiple Schengen business destinations -  in which case you are spending the majority of the travel period in Belgium, or, you are spending equal time in all the other destinations where Belgium is your port of entry.

When You have this visa

On submission of your visa application, you will receive your visa via courier to your doorstep or you will have to pick it up from the embassy/VAC depending on your preferred choice. The visa comes in the form of a sticker in your passport. There are a few key points you need to keep in mind once you receive your business visa - 

  • Ensure that the details on the visa sticker are correct.
  • Make a note of the visa expiry date, and number of entries.
  • While you are in Belgium, make sure to not exceed your length of stay as this can have consequences, and you might even be rejected for any future applications.
  • The business visa is only for purposes related to business in Belgium. You cannot work or search for jobs while you are on a business visa.
  • Always carry a copy of your passport and visa while travelling.
  • You can travel to other Schengen countries for business purpose with this visa. However, be sure about the number of entries as you will not be allowed to enter back into Belgium if you are on a single entry visa.

Documents required for Belgium Business Visa

As per the Belgium business visa requirements, there are a set of documents you will need to submit along with the standard Schengen visa documents, at the time of your application. These are listed below - 

  • Passport- 
    1. The passport should possess at least 2 blank pages.
    2. It should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of intended travel.
    3. Passports issued beyond 10 years are not accepted.
    4. Old passports, if any, are to be attached.
  • The Belgium business visa application form duly filled and signed by the applicant
  • Covering letter - 
    1. The letter should include the applicant's basic details such as name, designation, address, passport number. 
    2. It should clearly state the purpose and duration of the visit.
    3. It should mention the person bearing the expense of the visit.
    4. It should be signed by the applicant and addressed to the Belgian embassy.
  • Travel itinerary for the business trip 
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Confirmed flight tickets
  • Invitation letter from the Belgian company/organization stating the details of the travel, applicant and company profile./ Entry tickets to fairs and congresses
  • Travel insurance - 

Medical travel insurance covering expenses up to 30000 Euros

  • Proof of occupation - 
    1. If employed :
      • Employment contract copy, Employee ID card copy
      • Letter from employer stating reason and details for the travel period
      • NOC (No objection certificate) from the company
    2. If self-employed :
      • A copy of the business license
      • Copy of registration in the commercial register or as a partner in a company 
    3. If retired :
      • Pension statement of the latest 6 months
      • Copy of Retirement letter/relieving letter
  • Financial documents -

Personal bank statements for the last 3 months or copy of updated passbook showing sufficient funds, or salary slips (if employed), or income tax returns for the last 3 years or Form 16 A (if self-employed).

Photo Specification

  • Dimensions:  35mm X 45mm
  • Colour: Coloured
  • Head must occupy a central position in the photo
  • It must have been captured in the last 3 months
  • Background: Solid, plain white or grey with a matte finish
  • 80% face coverage
  • Neutral facial expression
  • Glasses: Thin-framed and prescription glasses are permitted
  • Headgears are allowed only for religious reasons
  • Facial hair is permitted

Belgium Business Visa processing time

For a standard application, the visa will be processed in about 10-15 working days. However, depending on several other factors, they can even take up to 30 days to arrive. In order to avoid any risks, it is advisable to apply for the visa at least 3 weeks in advance, and not more than 3 months prior to the date of travel. Since people who travel to do business in Belgium usually have multiple trips to the country, the subsequent applications after your first application will be processed faster.

Belgium business visa fees

The application fees for the business visa is the same as the other short term Schengen visa. The handling fees are 60 Euros. Apart from this, depending on the service charges of the visa application center, you will have to pay the fees at the VAC/embassy/consulate. The total fees vary depending on the urgency of the visa, length of stay, number of entries, etc.

Entry Stay Duration Validity Fees
Multiple entry Normal 90 days 3 months 6600.0
Multiple entry Normal 90 days 3 months 6600.0

How to Check Visa Status

After your visa submission, you can track the status of your application in multiple ways. If you had submitted the application at the embassy or consulate, you will have to email them at the relevant address with your passport number and name. However, if you have submitted it at a VAC, you can check it by entering the last name and tracking ID/passport number at the portal. Alternately, if you have applied through a visa agency, you can ring them and tell them your passport number to track the visa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I extend my Belgium Business Visa?

Under normal circumstances, you are not permitted to your visa extension application will most likely be denied. Although, in certain cases where you have a strong reason such as a late entry, humanitarian reasons, unforeseeable circumstances in the home country, and important personal and medical reasons, your application may be granted. You can apply for the extension at the visa issuing authority in Belgium. You will also have to remain in the country while your extension request is in process.

After expiring my Business Visa, how long can I stay?

You cannot stay back after your visa expires. Staying back in any Schengen country after the permit becomes invalid is considered an offense, and can get you deported. This will also reflect in your passport thereby making it almost impossible for you to get a Schengen visa in the future.

What is the medical test for the Belgium Business Visa?

Since the business visa is a short term permit, you are not required to undergo any medical check-up. However, it is suggested that you get a thorough check-up before travelling to protect yourself, as well as the people in Belgium. You are, however, mandated to get medical travel insurance.

Can I convert my Business Visa into another visa?

No, it is not possible to change your Schengen business visa into another type.  Your purpose of the visit is short term, and you are expected to leave the country as soon as this is over. However, you may apply for another Belgium visa once you get back to your home country.

 

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