Belgium, a country in Western Europe, is known for its medieval old towns, Flemish Renaissance architecture and international headquarters of the European Union and NATO. The country is divided into 2 distinctive multilingual regions: Dutch-speaking Flanders to the north and French-speaking Wallonia to the south. The bilingual capital, Brussels, is home to ornate guildhalls at Grand-Place and an art nouveau-influenced European Quarter.
Short stay visas includes Belgium tourist visa,Belgium business visa,Belgium short-stay visits by relatives and friends of EU nationals. This post will also assume that you will be applying for a Schengen visa in the Belgian Embassy. If not please look at our post on Schengen visa and hopefully we can convince you to apply for a Belgium Schengen visa instead of just Belgium visa.
What is Belgium visa (Belgium Schengen visa) ?
Belgium Schengen visa is a special kind of visa which allows you to travel among all the Schengen countries but your main theme of travel being in Belgium which means
- Belgium will be your main destination of travel.
- Belgium is where you will be spending most of your days in the trip.
- Belgium is your first point of entry into Europe. Your flight/ ship first enters Belgium.
If you answered yes for any of the above, then you will need to apply for your Schengen visa with the Belgian embassy. But with a Schengen visa you are ,Of course allowed to move freely among other Schengen countries. So if you plan to visit Rome or Madrid for a week you can do so with the same visa.
Documents required for Schengen Belgian visa Application
- Duly filled Schengen visa application form .This needs to be filled in blue ink and signed by the applicant.Make sure that you have filled the visa application with all the required information. After you have filled the visa application, make sure you make a copy of the application which will be helpful for you to revise when you go for your visa interview. You can download the Schengen visa application from here.
Update : You can now fill the entire Schengen visa application online and take a print out if it . See our blog post on how to fill your Schengen visa application online. No need to run around for a pen, no need to worry about typos.
- Passport with at least two blank pages and valid for at least three months from the visa application date is mandatory. If you have an old passport, then even that needs to be submitted along with the application.
- If you are a minor then the application must be filled and signed by both the parents along with photo copies of parent’s passports.
- Two photographs as per the spec mentioned by photo specification for Belgium visa application.
- Personal Covering letter from the applicant, explaining in detail the purpose of the visit.This needs to explain in detail your entire travel itinerary, all the documents that you have submitted in order addressing the Embassy of Belgium in your area. Not to worry, we have attached a sample that you can modify for your needs. Here is personal cover letter for Schengen visa.
- A medical insurance with a minimum cover of €30,000.There are ofcourse, many websites online which can provide you with an insurance. But keep in mind that these companies are insurance agents and it is in their interest to sell you the most expensive insurance . See our article to get the best travel insurance for Schengengen visa requirement.
- A confirmed Flight itinerary or Flight reservation for Belgium visa from a travel agent. A flight ticket need not be booked in advance for a visa. Once the visa is confirmed then a flight ticket may be purchased.Flight itinerary is a safer way of submitting a visa application without buying an actual flight ticket which is expensive if your visa is refused. In fact the European union visa requirements for visa states the same.As per the official document,
Round trip reservation or itinerary with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from Schengen state. Some Schengen authorities accept the itinerary when applying for the visa but request the original air ticket when visa is collected.
Embassy of Belgium does not hold responsibility for the expenses or loss incurred if you buy a flight ticket in advance and your visa application is cancelled. You can get your flight itinerary for Belgium visa online here.
- If you are planning to travel to any other country other than Belgium, Then you need to have flight itineraries for each and every city in your plan. You can read everything about flight itinerary for visa application here.
- Hotel booking , hostel reservations for Belgium visa, Or any other country that you are planning to stay. So you will need to make all the hotel bookings and reservations before you leave. Again you can use an online travel agent to make hotel reservations for visa applications for you without you having to swipe your card. This may not seem important but when you factor in all the currency conversions, filling up each and every form and HUGE cancellation fee if you can’t make it to one place then it is always reasonable to get it done through online agents. An added benefit is most of the travel agents charge you about $50 for the entire trip and not for each and every booking, which is a bargain when you factor in currency conversion charges. Read our post about hotel booking for visa here.
- If you are UK citizen : Proof of financial means to cover the cost of the intended stay (latest three months UK current account bank statements (original and copies) showing a positive balance with a minimum amount of £ 500.00 regardless of the length of stay in the Schengen States plus and extra 10% of this amount per day per person when stay in Schengen States exceeds the 10 days. Statements need to show the last 3 months salary payments and applicants home address in UK. Cash or traveller cheques are not accepted as proof of financial means.
- Original bank statements of the applicant for last three months, with the original stamp and signature of authorized signatory of the bank (Online Bank statements are not acceptable).This is a mandatory statement.
If you are employed:
- Employment contract or your latest 4 months salary slips.
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Leave permission from employer . You can download a sample of it from our website.
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary
Belgium Visa For The Wife/Husband of a Belgian citizen:
- No-objection certificate from school or university
- Proof of enrollment
If you are self-employed:
- A copy of your business license
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
If you are a student:
- Proof of Belgian citizenship (ID card or consular card or certification of Belgian nationality or naturalisation order)
- Belgian marriage certificate
- Belgian family record book
Now that you have all the required documents in place, it’s time to prepare for your interview. The interview could be brief or could be elaborate based on your application. You may at anytime be asked to produce additional documents so keep them ready. The interviewers have boring jobs so make their jobs easier. Dress decently and be confident. I suggest you split all your relevant documents into following :
- Passport and personal IDs such as PAN card, marriage certificates.
- Employment related documents such as salary , proof of employment.
- Tickets, itineraries, travel insurance and travel related documents.
This makes it easier for you to produce them when asked and not fiddle with your contents.
As mentioned above, while attending for your Belgian visa interview please revise all the documents that you have submitted. There will be questions asked about them.
Some of the questions that your interviewer may ask you during your visa application:
- Who will pay for your visit?
- Are you married? If yes, what does your spouse do? For how long have been married?
- Do you have any children? If yes, how old are they, what do they do and where are they?
- Do you have any close family or friends in the Schengen area.? If yes, when did you meet the last time?
- Where do you stay?
- What is your educational qualification?
- How will you travel from one place to another?
- How do you guarantee me that you will come back?
- Which company do you work for?
- What does your company do?
- What is your profession?
- What is your role in the company?
- How many years of total experience you have?
- For how long are you employed with your current employer?
- For how long were you employed with your previous employer?
- Could you please show me your company profile and tax returns?
- How many employees are there in your company?
- Explain your current project to me.
For more information on the visa application process you can visit the vfs.com websites in your country.