Belgium Schengen Visa - Belgium Visa Requirements, Processing Times, and Fees

Written By: Lily Johnson
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

Jun 13, 2022

22 min read

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Have you ever wondered what it's like canoeing through the breathtaking city of Bruges in Belgium? Or enjoying an exciting scavager hunt and walking tour in Liège.

Well, I have.

A few months back, I applied for my Schengen Visa to Belgium. After a successful visa application, I was well on my way to enjoying my first trip to the Schengen Area.

However, before the excitement started, I had to go through the process of applying for my visa. I've applied for plenty of Schengen Visas before, and the process never gets easier. Honestly, this is the worst part of travel, especially if you don't enjoy visa-free benefits (more about this later).

You need to consider the Schengen Visa requirements, processing times, fees, Schengen travel insurance, and so much more. At times, this can be overwhelming.

If you feel overwhelmed or concerned about your visa application, that's what this guide is for!

In this post, you'll find everything regarding the Belgium Schengen Visa. After this post, you'll be able to easily apply for your next Belgium Schengen Visa.

Quick note: During this guide, I'll be referring to both the Belgium Schengen Visa and the Belgium Tourist Visa. The only difference is what you prefer to call it. Other than that, it's the same visa you'll be applying for when visiting Belgium.

Let's get started:

The Belgian Tourist Visa At A Glance

Belgium forms part of the Schengen Area, and as such, the Belgian Tourist Visa is known as a Schengen Tourist Visa.

Citizens from countries outside the EU may need to acquire a Schengen Visa before traveling to Belgium. EU, US, & UK citizens do not need a Schengen Visa when traveling to Belgium for 90 days or less.

The main details of this visa are as follows:

  • Belgian Schengen Visa Fees: Belgian Schengen Visa Fees differ from country to country, but for most countries, it's EU 80.00.

  • Belgian Schengen Visa Processing Time: In normal circumstances, a Schengen Visa For Belgium can take up to 15 days. However, the processing time can take as long as 30 days, depending on the number of applications being processed.

  • Belgian Schengen Visa Requirements: To apply for a Schengen Visa To Belgium, an applicant will need a complete Flight Itinerary, a full Hotel Itinerary, as well as various other requirements that we'll discuss in detail in this article.

How To Quickly Get Your Schengen Tourist Visa For Belgium

Before I start, I'd like to share a hack I've been using when applying for my Schengen Visas. It's an app called Atlys. Atlys is all about making the application process as simple as possible!

When applying through Atlys, you'll find that Atlys does all the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is enter your details and attend your Schengen appointment. It's really as simple as that. Moreover, you can apply for your next Schengen Visa in less than 10 minutes. Don't believe me? Try for yourself.

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What Is The Belgian Schengen Tourist Visa

Simply put, the Belgian Tourist Visa allows you entry into Belgium. Think of it as a permit you need when traveling to Belgium.

The Belgian Tourist Visa will allow you to visit Belgium only for tourism and short business purposes. You won't be able to work in Belgium with this type of visa. If the purpose of your journey is not for tourism, you'll need to apply for a business visa, student visa, residence permit or another visa type.

You can visit Belgium for 90 days out of 180 days with a tourist visa. This is known as the Schengen 90/180-Day Rule.

Did you know:

Typically, when you plan to visit the Schengen Zone, you need a Schengen Visa to enter. In addition, a Schengen Visa can be used to enter more than one Schengen State.

The Schengen Member States you can visit with your Schengen Visa include:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

For example, if your travel plans include Belgium, then France, you can use your Belgium Tourist Visa to enter France.

Who Needs A Schengen Tourist Visa To Visit Belgium

It's worth mentioning that not all nationals need a Schengen Visa when visiting the Schengen Area. In addition, some citizens enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel to the European Union (including the Schengen Area).

In short, this means that citizens from certain counties don't need to apply for any type of visa when planning a trip to one of the 26 Schengen Countries.

I'll quickly talk about the nationals who need a Schengen Visa and those who don't.

  • EU/EEA/Swiss nationals

Citizens from the European Union (EU), European Economic Area, and Switzerland don't need a visa to visit Belgium. In fact, citizens from these areas can live, work and study in any one of the Schengen Countries.

  • US Citizens

Citizens from the USA enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel to the Schengen Area. Therefore, they don't need to apply for a Belgium Tourist Visa.

Some US Green Card Holders need to apply for a tourist visa, and some don't. Here's the rule. Whether or not you need a Tourist Visa to Belgium depends on your home country. If your passport allows you to travel the Schengen Area visa-free, you don't need a Belgian Tourist Visa. However, if not, you'll need to apply for one.

  • Citizens from countries that don't enjoy visa-free travel to the Schengen Area

If this is you, you'll need to apply for a Belgian Tourist Visa/Schengen Visa to enter Belgium.

Check our FAQ section for a list of countries that don't need a Schengen Visa when traveling to Belgium.

What Are The Visa-Free Travel Requirements For Belgium

As I just mentioned, some residents don't need to apply for a Belgian Tourist Visa. But, nevertheless, this does not mean that these citizens can just walk through border control at the airport.

Even if you enjoy visa-free travel, you still need to meet a few travel requirements.

Let's take a look at these requirements:

A Valid Passport

As the title suggests, you need a valid passport to enter Belgium. In addition, your passport must have a validity of at least 3 months beyond the date you plan to return to your home country.

It's also worth mentioning that your passport must be in good condition and not older than 10 years. If your passport is close to its expiry date, I highly recommend getting a new passport before traveling.

Proof Of The Purpose Of Your Trip

It's common for border authorities to ask what the purpose of your trip is. All you need to do is provide documents that prove the reason for your visit.

These include:

Here's a tip:

You can use Atlys's helpful travel tools to get a flight itinerary and hotel itinerary free of charge.

Proof Of Sufficient Funds

You may not always be asked to provide proof of sufficient funds. Still, it's good to bring a document that proves you have the financial means to support yourself during your visit.

Such documents include:

  • Most recent bank statements

  • Cash which has been converted

  • Credit cards

  • Pay stubs

  • An employment letter that states your salary

  • Any other documents that prove you have enough funds

If someone else supports your trip financially, you'll need to provide a sponsorship letter. The letter proves that the person supporting you can do so. Here's what the letter should include.

  • The sponsor's personal details (name, number, etc.)

  • Your personal details

  • Proof that they have the means to support your trip (like an attached bank statement)

  • The date of your intended travel

One last thing

Each Schengen Country has its own specific financial requirements. For Belgium, you'll need a minimum of €95/day if you're staying in a hotel. Otherwise, if you find cheaper means of accommodation, you need a minimum of €45/day.

For example, if you visit Belgium for 10 days and stay in a hotel, you'll need a total of €950 for your trip.

What Are The Required Documents For A Schengen Tourist Visa to Belgium

If you don't enjoy visa-free travel to Belgium, a Schengen Visa is mandatory. For a successful visa application, you'll need to submit the required documents.

I'll walk you through each document and why it's required.

Your Valid Passport

One of the main requirements for a Belgian Schengen Visa is a valid passport. It must be valid for 3 months beyond the date you plan to return home. Also, ensure that your passport has at least 2 blank visa pages available for your new Belgian Tourist Visa.

Quick tip:

Make copies of the main page of your passport and all the previous visas you applied for.

2 Recent Passport Photos

You'll need to submit 2 recent passport-sized photos alongside your visa application. The photos must be in color and have a white background. To learn more about the photo requirements, check this in-depth guide.

A Schengen Visa Application Form

Another important requirement is the Schengen Visa Application form. There are a few ways you can find this:

Before I continue

I need to highlight some important things. It's crucial that you enter the correct details when filling out the application form. Filling in the incorrect information could lead to your visa being denied or delayed (at best).

A Flight Itinerary or Return Flight Ticket

When visiting Belgium, Embassy authorities will want to see that you plan to travel back to your home country after your trip. This is easily proven by providing a flight itinerary or a return flight ticket.

If you don't fully understand why an itinerary is necessary, read this post. It includes why you need it and how to get it for free.

Proof Of Financial Funds

Proof of Financial Funds proves that you can support yourself fully during your trip. Each Schengen Country has its own specific requirements. For example, Belgium requires you to have a minimum of €95/day if you plan to stay in a hotel and €45/day if you use cheaper accommodation.

Additional documents you can provide as proof are:

  • Most recent bank statements

  • Cash which has been converted

  • Credit cards

  • Pay stubs

  • An employment letter that states your salary

  • Any other documents that prove you have enough funds

If you're not the one supporting your trip, you'll need to provide a sponsorship letter. The letter must include:

  • The sponsor's personal details (name, number, etc.)

  • Your personal details

  • Proof that they have the means to support your trip (like an attached bank statement)

  • The date of your intended travel

Proof Of Accommodation

During your interview (which I'll discuss later), embassy officials will want to know where you'll be staying in Belgium. Therefore, I usually provide a hotel itinerary.

Here are a few other documents you can provide:

  • A hotel reservations

  • An Airbnb reservation

  • Proof of private real estate (like a lease)

  • A rental agreement

Say you plan to visit a friend or family member, you'll need to attach a letter of invitation. I always ensure that the following is included:

  • Personal details of the friend/family member

  • Physical address in Belgium

  • Acknowledgment that they expect you

  • Contact details

  • The length of your stay

A Cover Letter

The cover letter is to explain why you plan to visit Belgium. Essentially, this proves the purpose of your trip. It should include your travel dates, what you plan to do, a schedule, or relevant information about your trip.

Schengen Travel Insurance

The Belgian Schengen Visa requires you to obtain valid travel insurance before entering the Schengen Area. In addition, the travel insurance you plan to use must meet the following requirements:

  • It must provide minimum coverage of €30,000

  • It must provide coverage across the entire Schengen Area:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

  • Your travel insurance must cover all medical expenses that may occur during your trip. This includes emergency hospital treatment, repatriation, medical costs, emergency medical evacuation, etc.

  • The insurance you decide to use must be valid for the duration of your stay.

Here's how I get my travel insurance

Recently, I've used Atlys for all of my Schengen Visa applications. One of the advantages of using Atlys is that you can get accredited travel insurance directly from the app. You won't believe how much time and effort this has saved me.

Employment Status Documents

For a successful Schengen Visa, you'll need to provide documents based on your employment status.

If You're Employed

  • An employment contract

  • Your bank statements for the past 6 months

  • A letter from your employer acknowledging that you'll be away from work.

  • An Income Tax Return (ITR) Form

If You're Self-Employed

  • An Income Tax Return (ITR) Form

  • A copy of your company's bank statement from the past 6 months

  • A copy of your business license

If You're A Student

  • Proof that you're enrolled at a recognized education institution.

  • A letter from your educational institution confirming that they have no objections to your absence from school.

If You're Retired

  • An official document or certificate that proves you're a retiree.

  • Your bank statements for the past 6 months.

Another benefit of Atlys

Like most other requirements, Atlys can automatically do this for you. You'll be asked if you want Atlys to get this for you. If you select yes, all you need to do is enter your employment details. These are some basic fields like your employer's name, phone number, and so on. Once again, this saves a lot of time.

Proof Of Civil Status

This can be a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or a death certificate of your spouse.

COVID-19 Requirements

I've learned that COVID-19 restrictions and regulations change frequently. Therefore, I can't list the exact requirements for Belgium. However, I recommend using Atlys's helpful COVID-19 tool. You can use it to check the latest COVID-19 updates of Belgium.

In the same breath, when applying through Atlys, you'll automatically be informed of any COVID-19 requirements.

How To Apply For A Tourist Visa To Belgium

Now that we've covered the required documents, I'll walk you through the application process and how you can apply for your next Tourist Visa to Belgium.

But first...

Before you start your application, I recommend taking a quick look at this post. It outlines the most common mistakes you should avoid when applying for a Schengen Visa.

Here are the steps:

Step 1 - Gather All The Required Documents For Your Belgian Schengen Visa

This is the frustrating part. Collecting all the required documents can sometimes be tiresome. I find creating a document checklist really helpful. It helps you keep track of the documents you already have and those you still need to get.

Other than that, gathering the required documents is pretty straightforward.

My biggest tip would be to do this as soon as possible. Sometimes, some documents might take time to collect (like an invitation letter).

The last thing you want is your application denied due to missing documents.

Step 2 - Fill Out Your Belgian Schengen Visa Application Form

This is a very important step.

Why

Without a complete application form, you won't be able to get a visa. And when I say complete, I mean it. Your personal details must correspond to the details found on your passport.

Something as small as a spelling mistake could lead to your visa being denied, or best case scenario, delayed.

Be sure that all the required fields are filled out. Afterward, sign the form and make a copy.

Step 3 - Schedule Your Belgian Schengen Visa Appointment

The next step is to schedule your Belgian Schengen Visa appointment. It might seem simple, but you need to be wary of a few things.

Out of my experience, I've learned that you won't get your desired appointment slot. Let me explain.

The amount of applications an Embassy receives determines the number of appointment slots available. Meaning, the date of your appointment may be later than you initially planned.

If you start your application early, this won't be a problem. However, if you wait too long, you might not be able to make your trip.

This is how you can schedule your appointment

1. Contacting your local Belgium Embassy or Consulate

2. Using Atlys's appointment tool.

The neat part of Atlys's appointment tool is that it finds all available appointment slots. This way, you can select a date most suited to you. Furthermore, it's easy to use.

You can find the tool at the top of this page or schedule an appointment through the app. It's simple and effective.

To learn more about the Schengen Visa appointments, read this dedicated post.

Step 4 - Attend Your Belgian Schengen Visa Appointment

Once you've scheduled your Schengen Visa appointment, you'll need to attend it. This is where you'll be submitting all your required documents. Also, you'll be interviewed by an embassy staff member. Don't be intimidated. The questions asked are simple, and as long as you have your supporting documents, you'll find the interview pretty straightforward.

If you feel stressed or uneasy about your appointment, please read through this post. It includes the most common questions asked during your interview.

Remember, preparation is key.

Step 5 - Pay The Belgian Schengen Visa Fee

Finally, you need to pay the visa application fee. Typically, you'll need to pay via a money order made to the specific embassy. Fortunately, some embassies allow you to pay for your visa via cash or debit card.

Here are the fees:

  • For an Adult: $96

  • For children between 6-12 years of age: $48

  • For children younger than 6 years of age: Free

Be mindful that these amounts can change at any moment.

Step 6 - Collect Your Belgian Schengen Visa

After you've completed the 5 steps mentioned above, all you need to do is wait for feedback from the embassy.

The Embassy will process your visa application during this time, and you'll receive feedback within a few weeks.

There are 2 possible outcomes:

1. Favorable feedback, meaning your visa application was successful.

2. Unfavorable feedback, meaning your visa was denied.

If you receive favorable feedback, first of all, congratulations! All you need to do is travel to the Embassy and get your passport and visa.

If you receive unfavorable feedback, don't give up hope. You can still get your visa.

How?

You can appeal the initial visa decision made by the Embassy. I won't lie. It is a tiresome process. However, it's better than doing nothing.

The Belgian Schengen Visa document requirements for minors are a bit different from the standard Schengen Visa requirements. Here are the documents you'll require:

  • Application form signed by both parents

  • Birth certificate of the child- If a child is traveling alone, a notarized parental authorization is signed by both parents or guardians.

  • Passport or ID copies of both parents.

  • For students: present school certificate of enrolment/attendance, absence.

  • The visa must be applied for in-person (12 years of age or older) together with the presence of at least one parent.

  • Applications have to be submitted at least 21 days before the expected travel date.

If the child is traveling with one of the parents, the other parent must sign a notarized permission letter. Additionally, an official certificate must be provided in the event of a parent's absence (divorce, death, etc.). Furthermore, a copy of each parent's identification document is also required.

Regarding photo requirements, children under the age of five don't need to have a neutral expression or look directly at the camera, nor do their heads need to be centered in the picture. Also, babies under the age of one do not require their eyes to be open.

Where Should I Apply For My Belgian Schengen Tourist Visa

You have 3 options:

1. Applying through Atlys

This would be your easiest option. Not only can you apply from the comfort of your home but, you'll also be informed about all the required documents you'll need.

2. Applying through a Belgium Embassy in person

Applying through an embassy is the traditional way of getting your Belgian Tourist Visa.

3. Applying through a Visa Application Center

The third option is applying through a visa application center. It's an external visa service provider. In fact, some embassies require you to apply through an application center and not through the embassy.

When Should I Apply For A Schengen Tourist Visa For Belgium

The earliest you can apply for your Belgian Schengen Visa is six months before your actual trip.

Accordingly, the processing period for a Schengen Visa to Italy usually is around 15 days. Still, it can take up to 60 days in rare situations.

I recommend that you apply 45 days before your departure date. Doing this will yourself enough time to account for any unforeseen circumstances.

To determine when you should apply for your Belgian Tourist Visa, consider the following:

  • The time it takes to collect the required documents

  • Travel time to the Belgium Embassy/Consulate

  • The time it takes for your visa to be processed

  • Finally, the time it takes to travel to the Embassy to collect your visa

How Much Is The Belgian Schengen Tourist Visa Fee

In most cases, you'll need to pay using a money order sent to the appropriate embassy. Some embassies, fortunately, allow you to pay for your visa with cash or a debit card.

The fees are as follows:

  • For an Adult: $96

  • For children between 6-12 years of age: $48

  • For children younger than 6 years of age: Free

And That's That!

You now know everything there is to know about the Belgian Schengen Visa. I know it might seem a bit daunting but, as soon as you understand how the application process works and what is required, it's pretty straightforward.

If you have any other questions, check the FAQ section. Otherwise, I am confident that your next Belgian Schengen Visa will be successful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Countries Don't Need A Schengen Visa To Travel To The Schengen Area?

Some countries enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel to the Schengen Area. Meaning, citizens from the following countries don't need to apply for a Schengen Visa when visiting the Schengen Area:

A

Albania (only holders of biometric passports) Andorra Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Australia

B

Bahamas Barbados Bosnia and Herzegovina (only holders of biometric passports) Brazil Brunei

C

Canada Chile Colombia Costa Rica

D - E

Dominica El Salvador

G

Georgia Grenada Guatemala

H

Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hong Kong SAR (Only for holders of the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region")

I - K

Israel Japan Kiribati

M

Macao S.A.R (Only for holders of the“Região Administrativa Especial de Macau” passport) Malaysia Marshall Islands Mauritius Mexico Micronesia Moldova (only holders of biometric passports) Monaco Montenegro (only holders of biometric passports)

N

Nauru New Zealand Nicaragua North Macedonia (only holders of biometric passport)

P

Palau Panama Paraguay Peru

S

Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent Samoa Serbia (only holders of biometric passports) Seychelles Singapore Solomon Islands South Korea

T

Taiwan (only if your passport contains an identity card number) Timor Leste Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tuvalu

U

Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States of America Uruguay

V

Vanuatu Venezuela

I Have A Double/Triple Nationality. Which One Should I Enter In My Visa Application?

You must enter the nationality of the travel document (passport) with which you wish to travel. When you complete your application form, you will need to indicate your nationality of origin and your current nationality (that of your passport).

What Type Of Travel Insurance Should I Get For My Belgian Schengen Tourist Visa Application

Here are my 2 options for travel insurance:

Both of these companies provide excellent accredited travel insurance. Furthermore, there are various insurance policies you can choose from. Be mindful that the amount payable depends on the insurance plan you choose.

I should mention that these are not the only companies that provide accredited EU travel insurance. There are plenty of options to choose from. In fact, some companies allow you to create your own "travel insurance package."

It's always best to research your options and decide after you've compared policies with each other.

Can I Extend My Schengen Visa?

Yes, it's possible to extend your Schengen Visa. However, visa extensions are only granted in specific cases. Check this helpful guide for more details about the Schengen Visa extension process.

How Long Does It Take To Apply For A Schengen Visa?

A list of factors impacts the time it takes to apply for your Schengen Visa. Depending on how you manage your time, you can apply for your visa in a week (or less). Read this post if you want to learn more.

What Should My Proof Of Employment For An Italy Schengen Visa Look Like

A letter from your employer is required as proof of employment. The letter should state:

  • Today's Date

  • Employer name

  • Position and title

  • A declaration that you will continue to be employed during your Italy visit

  • Contact and address information of the supervisor along with their signature.

For students, this is a letter from your university. For homemakers or those unemployed, a letter of support from any individual/organization. This includes but is not limited to your spouse or parents too.

Once again, Atlys can create an employment letter for you.

How Long Is A Short Stay Visa Valid For? Can I Leave The Schengen Area And Come Back With The Same Visa?

The validity period of the visa and the length of the permitted stay are both listed on your visa sticker. A visa can be granted for a single entry or multiple entries.

The visa sticker specifies the maximum stay period. It varies depending on why you're visiting.

What you must remember:

  • You must have left the Schengen area at the latest on the day the visa expires.

  • You must not exceed the authorized length of stay during the validity of the visa.

  • If you have an authorized stay of 90 days, you must not stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days in 180 days, this period not having to exceed the duration of the visa and the period of 90 days starting from run on the date of the first entry.

I Am A Visitor To The US With A B1/B2 Visa And Would Like To Spend Two Weeks In Italy After My Trip To The US. Where Do I Apply For A Visa?

Only legal residents and US Green Card Holders in the United States are eligible to apply for a visa. You must apply at the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your home country if you are simply visiting.

Do I Have To Apply In Person, Or Can I Apply By Mail?

Because you need to attend an in-person interview at the Belgian Embassy, you'll need to apply in person.

Do I Need To Submit My Passport At The Embassy?

Yes. When you're submitting your required documents, you need to leave your passport at the Embassy. While processing your visa application, your visa sticker will be attached to your passport.

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