Belgium is a beautiful country, and if you love traveling, there is no way you will miss this one when you’re heading to Europe. But there are chances that you might need a Belgium Schengen visa even if you are traveling to the country from Los Angeles. This is the case if you are a US permanent resident. Read this article to understand how you can apply for your Belgium Schengen visa.
In the year 2016, Belgium received almost 220000 visa applications. But out of that, only about 180000 were approved. Which means that Belgium had a whopping 15.3% visa rejection rate in 2016, which is one of the highest amongst all the other Schengen countries.
To avoid getting your visa rejected, you will need to learn the right way to apply for your visa.
The Belgian consulate in Los Angeles received about 950 visa applications, out of which, 936 were approved.
Who needs a Belgium Schengen Visa?
If you are a US citizen, you need not apply for a Schengen visa to visit Belgium. But in case you are a US permanent citizen, i.e. you have settled in the US after moving from another country.
Even in this case, there are a few exceptions for those nationalities that don’t need a Schengen visa to visit the Schengen countries. You will need to check whether Belgium mandates a Schengen visa for you to find out whether or not you really need one.
I am a B1/B2 visa holder. Can I get my Belgium Schengen visa from the Belgian consulate in Los Angeles?
No, unfortunately, you cannot apply for a Schengen visa from the Belgian consulate in Los Angeles. You will need to head back to your own country to get your Belgium Schengen visa approved.
Steps to getting a Belgium Schengen visa
Getting your visa is quite a simple process, but you need to ensure that you don’t make any mistake in these steps to ensure that your application doesn’t get rejected.
Find out if you need a Schengen visa and if you can apply for it at the Belgian consulate.
Book an appointment with the Belgian consulate ( Get Schengen visa appointment for $ 10 )
Prepare all the documents required for the interview.
Attend the interview at the consulate to initiate the approval of your visa.
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Each of these steps has been explained in detail below.
Do I really need a Belgium Schengen visa?
As mentioned above in the same article, your nationality will determine whether or not you need a Schengen visa to visit Belgium. Once you have successfully determined that you need one, read the article further to understand the rest of the steps in the visa application process.
Why do I need an appointment with the Belgian consulate and how do I get one?
Most consulates don’t allow you to walk in directly to get your issues sorted. You will need to book an appointment with the consulate online and well in advance. The Consulate General of Belgium in Los Angeles also works similarly.
Who can get an appointment with the Consulate General of Belgium in Los Angeles?
You can only apply for an appointment with the consulate general in Los Angeles if you are a permanent resident of the following states.
States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaï, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
The American territory from the Samoa Islands
The Territory of Guam
The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
Who can get an appointment with the Consulate General of Belgium in Los Angeles?
To initiate the process of getting an appointment with the consulate, you will need to visit the official website of the Consulate General of Belgium in the United States. Once you click on this link, you will be taken to a website like in the image below.
Click on “in English” under the “Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in the United States“.
The link will take you to another page. Click on “Visa for Belgium” on the list given on the left-hand side of the page.
Click on “Visitors” from the list of options that the new page gives you.
Read the information given on the page that you are now redirected to. Once you are done with this, scroll down to find the links to apply for your Schengen visa. The links are mentioned under the heading “Visitors (Schengen Visa)“. Click on the link given next to “Los Angeles” as you are applying for your visa from the Consulate General of Belgium in Los Angeles.
Once you reach the page above, click on “Make appointment for Passport / Visa Application, Los Angeles”
Pick the date and time according to your convenience on this page. After this, you will be taken to another page.
Fill in this form correctly and click on “Proceed“. After this, follow the procedure the website asks you to. This should complete the procedure of booking an appointment with the consulate.
I am also visiting other countries along with Belgium. What Consulate do I need to visit?
In case most of your travel plans are in Belgium, then you can apply for your visa in the Belgian consulate. But if you plan on spending more time in any other Schengen country, you will need to apply for your visa from that country’s consulate.
If you are spending an equal number of days in all the countries, then you will need to land in a city in Belgium first to be able to get your visa from their consulate.
The image below should explain it better.
What do I need to carry for my appointment with the consulate?
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The list of all the documents you need to take to the consulate is quite long, so ensure that you keep all the documents in place before the interview.
US Permanent Residence Permit
A passport-sized photograph
Travel cover letter
Proof of flight and hotel bookings
Travel health insurance
Employment details or student proof
Each of these documents has been explained in detail.
Visa application: You will need to fill in your application form, download it, and take a print out. You will also need to affix your passport-sized photo onto the form. The photo should have a clear front view and a light background.
Cover letter: Your travel cover letter will need to clearly explain your reasons to your visit in the Schengen country. It should also contain your travel itinerary according to your flight bookings and mention your hotel reservations as well. Also, mention a list of all the documents you will be giving to the consulate along with your form.
Passport: You will need to carry your valid and original passport. It should be issued to you not more than 10 years earlier and should have a validity of at least 90 days from the date of your return to the US.
Residence permit: Carry your original residence permit to the interview as well. It should also have a validity of at least 90 days from the date of your return.
Flight itinerary: Your flight itinerary will be checked when applying for your Belgium Schengen visa.
Hotel reservations: The consulate will also check the details of all your hotel reservations during your travel.
Travel health insurance: You will need to provide proof that you are covered in case you have any medical emergency during your travel. The insurance will need to be valid in all Schengen countries.
Employment details: You will also need to provide your employment details to the consulate. If you are salaried, carry your employment letter and your IT returns proof. If you are self-employed, carry your business registration documents, business bank statements, and IT return documents.
In case you are a student, carry a letter from your university and if you are retired, carry the statements of the past 6 months of pension.
Is it a good idea to make my flight and hotel bookings before I get my visa approved?
Actually, it is advised that you don’t book your flight and hotels before you get your Belgium Schengen visa approved. With the high visa rejection rates of Belgium, there are chances that your visa application is also rejected.
How do I increase the chances of the approval of my visa if I can’t make my flight and hotel bookings?
You can make temporary flight bookings and hotel reservations before your travel to get your visa approved. Travel Visa Bookings offers great temporary booking solutions to help increase the chances of the approval of your visa.
What is the fee for my Belgium Schengen visa?
The image above gives you an idea of what you will need to pay for different types of visas.
But since you are going for a short stay visa, the detailed price is mentioned below. This is especially useful in case you want to get temporary flight and hotel bookings and also a travel insurance.
When will my visa get approved and what is its validity?
The approval of a Schengen visa usually takes up to 15 days. It will be valid for the number of days mentioned in your travel itinerary, so ensure that you have at least 5-10 days of a buffer when making your flight bookings.
Address and contact details of the Belgian Consulate in Los Angeles
6300, Wilshire Boulevard – Suite 720
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tel: +1 323 857 12 44
Tel: +1 213 247 93 05 (Emergency number outside opening hours)