belgium visa

Belgium Visa - Definitive Guide

“Great things come in small packages”, is quite the definition of Belgium. With just over a mere 30,000 sq km, this tiny country is full of surprises. Along with several tourist attractions, Belgium has one of the most advanced economies in Europe. With the service sector making up the majority of its GDP, and the manufacturing industry accounting to one-sixth of the GDP, there is plenty of work and business opportunities. To visit this country as an Indian national, one needs a visa along with a passport. The Belgium visa is an endorsement that allows individuals to enter Belgium and stay there for a certain period depending upon the type of visa. 

What is a Belgium visa?

For individuals from nations that do not come under the EU, and are not in the visa exempt list for Belgium, require an entity known as a Belgium visa. Based on your motive for the visit, there are 4 major categories namely - Visa A, C, and D. Each of the visas have different permissions, and validity. You can apply for a visa that suits your requirement and purpose. The Belgium visas are usually stamped on your passport. Each type of visa has certain documents that are required as per the regulations.

How to get a Belgium visa?

The process of acquiring a visa varies from country to country. For obtaining a Belgium visa from India, you need to determine which type of visa is apt for your visit purpose. Different types of visas have a different set of documents required as per the Belgium visa embassy requirements.  You will then need to decide on how you are going to apply. The submission can be done either through a Belgian embassy/consulate or via visa centres that have been outsourced by the Belgian government for the visa submissions. Since offline applications are discontinued, you have to apply for a Belgium visa online. Once you have these details secured, you can proceed to make the application as follows - 

  1. Create an account with the embassy website.
  2. Log on to your account and fill in the Belgium visa application form online, with your personal details.
  3. Book your Belgium visa appointment at a VAC, Belgium Embassy or Consulate.
  4. Take a print out of the copy of the application form you receive via the registered email address.
  5. Attend the visa appointment for your biometric along with the mentioned documents and your Schengen visa Belgium application form. If you have submitted a biometric in the past 10 years, you do not require to be subjected to another biometric.
  6. Pay the fees, along with any additional service charges at the designated location.
  7. Once your Belgium visa application has been submitted, it will be processed by the Belgian embassy / Consulate.

The steps for all the short term visa types are the same. The only variations would be in the Belgium visa fees and documents required. It can, however, be a  challenging task to take note of the various documents, keeping track of the appointment, and to make sure there are no mistakes. Any mistakes in the application form can cause a delay in the visa approval, or even lead to the application being rejected. To apply for a Belgium visa in India, it is suggested to consult professional visa services to do it for you.

Belgium visa types

Largely, the Belgium visa types can be classified into four depending on the duration of the visit. The categories are -

  • Visa A - Airport transit visa: This is the visa required if you are going to spend time within a Belgium airport as a part of your transit journey. 
  • Visa C - Short term visa: Also known as the short term Belgium Schengen visa, this is a major type of the Belgium visa types. The C visa allows you to enter Belgium and stay there for a maximum period of 90 days, in a 180-day term. A short term visa for Belgium is of three types -
    1. Belgium tourist visa - A tourist visa is required when your sole purpose of travel is tourism. This includes the likes of visiting Tomorrowland, sightseeing, etc.
    2. Belgium business visa - A business visa is a necessity when there are business purposes involved. If you are attending a business conference, a business meeting, or any professional reasons, you need this type of visa.
    3. Belgium visitor visa - The visitor type is mandatory if you are entering the country as for family or private visit, participating in sporting events, cultural events, short study courses, marriage in Belgium, cohabitation, etc.
       
  • Visa D - Long term visa: If you require a stay of more than 90 days, you will need a long term visa. This type is issued for work and business, study, and family reunion, etc.

Travelers carrying Indian passports are exempt from Visa A. In other words, Indian nationals do not need a transit visa for entering Belgium. You will, however, need a type C or D depending on your purpose and length of stay. The D type being the more common, we will be focusing on the application for this Belgium Schengen visa from India.

 

Documents required for Belgium visa

The documents required depends on the various Belgian visa types. The general list of documents required for Schengen visa Belgium is mentioned below. However, depending on the subtypes such as tourist, business, study, etc, there will be additional documentation necessary. 

  • Short term Belgium Schengen visa ( C visa) - 
    1. A valid Passport
    2. Covering letter stating the details of the applicant, and the purpose and duration of stay
    3. Travel itinerary
    4. Confirmed round trip flight tickets, Proof of accommodation
    5. Travel medical insurance covering 30000 Euros 
    6. Proof of occupation as per the employment status
    7. Financial documents to show sufficient funds
  • Long term visa ( D visa ) - 
    1. A valid passport
    2. A work permit, proof of admission at an educational institution, marriage/civil partnership or birth certificates (if applicable)
    3. Financial documents to prove that you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses during your stay period
    4. Proof of accommodation
    5. Medical certificate to show that you are free of diseases that could be a danger to the public
    6. Certificate showing that there are no criminal records in your name
    7. Document choosing the language in which you would like to be informed about the decision in your visa application

Belgium visa photo requirements

Both the visa applications require 2 identical photos as per the Belgium visa photo size regulations of the embassy. The Belgium Schengen visa photo requirements are as follows -

  • Dimensions:  35mm X 45mm
  • Colour: Coloured
  • Head must occupy the central position
  • Must be captured within the last 3 months
  • Background: Solid, plain white or grey
  • 85% face coverage
  • Neutral expression
  • Glasses: Non-thick framed and prescription are permitted
  • Headgears are allowed only for religious reasons
  • Facial hair is permitted

Belgium visa fees

The visa handling fees depend on the types of visa. The Belgium visa fees are to be paid during the appointment. There can also be service charges to be paid if you are submitting the documents at a registered visa application center. Apart from this, the fees may also vary depending on several factors such as the type of visa, the number of entries, the duration of the visa, additional express services, etc.

Where to apply for a Belgium visa?

The applications for the visa can be applied online. However, for the submission of the documents, It can be performed through the Belgian embassy/consulate, or through a visa application centre. For appointments at the embassy/consulate, you will have to email them to book one. Alternately, you can book a visa appointment at any visa application centres located across the country for the document submission. For submission of documents straight at the embassy, you can visit the Belgian embassy located in New Delhi or the Belgian Consulate General in Mumbai, and Chennai. 

Belgium Visa Processing Time India -

The processing time of the visa is normally up to 15 working days. However, this can vary based on several factors. In some cases, it can go up to 30 days when there are a large number of applications at the embassy. The Belgium Schengen visa processing time can even take up to 60 days in some extreme cases. As a result, it is best to apply for the visa at least 3 weeks before the date of intended travel. However, the application cannot be made beyond 3 months before the travel.

Belgium Visa Status

After the visa submission, you can track the status of your application in multiple ways. You can email the Belgian embassy or consulate with your passport number, and details to track it. This method might not be the most responsive. Alternately, you can proceed to check Belgium visa status online by entering your passport number/tracking ID and your last name on the visa application centre website. If you are using the help of third-party visa services, you can simply call them and provide your passport number to easily track your Belgium Schengen visa status

Frequently Asked Questions

How much bank balance is required for Belgium Schengen Visa?

To obtain the Schengen Visa, you will have to submit proof that you have sufficient funds to support your stay. These documents can be either bank statements, salary slips, tax returns, etc. If you are submitting a bank statement, it should show that you have a minimum balance of at least 45 Euros for every day you spend in the country, or 95 Euros if staying at a hotel. For example, if you are planning to spend 30 days in Belgium, you would need to show that you have at least 1350 Euros.

What is the validity of the Belgium Visa?

The validity of the permit depends on the type you apply for. A transit visa is valid only for a few days. A short term Belgium Schengen visa is valid for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. A long term permit is valid for more than 90 days as per the requirements.

Can I apply for belgium visa while i possess another type of Belgium visa?

Yes, you can apply for another visa while you are on a Belgium visa. However, you will have to meet the eligibility conditions related to it. Also, it is important to note that the country does not allow multiple independent visas to be held simultaneously, and as a result, your new visa will replace your existing visa.

Can I enter other countries with Belgium Schengen visa?

Yes, you can enter multiple countries with this visa as long as they belong to the Schengen area. However, keep in mind that if you apply through a Belgium embassy for the Schengen visa, your port of entry must be Belgium, or you must spend most of your travel time in Belgium.

How can I get multiple entries Belgium Schengen visa from India?

While you fill in the online application form, you can select an option to apply for a multiple-entry permit. However, the final decision of this will be upon the consular officer based on your application, and documents. The fees will also vary based on the entry type.

Do students have a different visa requirement for Belgium Visa application?

Yes, student applications have different requirements in the form of eligibility and the set of documents required. If your studies last less than 90 days, you can apply for a short-term Schengen visa. However, if your studies last more than 90 days, you are required to apply for a long term permit. 

Can I enter Belgium with a valid Schengen multiple entry visa issued by any other Schengen country?

Yes, you can visit Belgium while you are on a Schengen visa. Belgium is a part of the Schengen states, and as a result, there are no hindrances in travel between them. However, keep in mind that you are required to spend less time in Belgium than in the country that has issued your visa.

Is it possible to extend a short stay Schengen visa in Belgium?

Normally, you will not be granted with an extension, however, in certain cases with a strong reason, you will have a good chance of getting it approved. These involve situations such as a late entry, humanitarian reasons, unforeseeable circumstances in the home country, and important personal and medical reasons. In these cases, you can apply for an extension at the immigration authority in Belgium. You will also have to remain in the country while your extension request is in process.

 

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