Visas for Belgium

As Belgium is part of the Schengen visa area, travellers who don’t have an EU passport or aren’t from the list of visa-exempt countries will be required to obtain a Schengen visa before arrival. Expats wanting to stay in Belgium for longer than 90 days may require a residence permit, depending on their nationality.
Expat Protect plans have been designed for expats and local residents in France, Benelux or Monaco.  They can be purchased as a top-up health insurance or purchased as full cover.

Those travelling to Belgium for holiday or business and who need to apply for a Schengen visa will need to do so at the Belgian consulate or embassy in their home country before they travel.

Applicants will usually need to provide documents such as proof of employment and proof of residence in their home country as indicators that they will return home after their trip.

Expats wanting to travel to Belgium for business purposes will likely have to include a letter of invitation from the Belgian business party who will be hosting them and a letter from their local employer stating their duties in Belgium. Those attending a conference may require proof of registration and accommodation.

Anyone intending to stay in Belgium for the long term is required to report their presence in the country to their local commune (local authority) within 90 days of their arrival. These new arrivals will usually need to produce their passport or identity card and will then be issued with a Declaration of Presence.

Citizens of non-EU countries who wish to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days will need to arrange a long-stay residence visa before arriving. The D visa allows non-EU nationals to study, work and live in Belgium for up to five years. After five years, they will be able to apply for permanent residency.

Once non-EU nationals have a long-term local address, they should return to their local commune to register the address and obtain a foreigner identity card.

Non-EU expats moving to the country for employment will most likely also need a work permit for Belgium.

residence visa

Citizens of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) don’t usually require a work permit for Belgium. European citizens working in Belgium must have a full EU or EEA passport or identity card.

These nationals are free to enter Belgium for up to three months to look for work or set up a business. Those staying for a period of more than three months are required to register at the local town hall in their city of residence in Belgium.

Those from outside the EU or EEA will need a work permit to be legally employed in Belgium. It is usually the responsibility of an expat’s Belgian employer to receive authorisation to hire a foreign worker and apply for a work permit on their behalf.
Expats who require a work permit for Belgium will have three options.
Work permit type A is a long-term permit for expats who have worked in the country for at least four consecutive years in a 10-year period.
Work permit type B, which most expats moving to Belgium will require, is limited to work for one employer for a period of one year. Renewals must be applied for one month before the initial permit expires. The employer will apply for this on an expat’s behalf.
Work permit type C, also valid for a year, is usually granted to expats staying in Belgium temporarily, such as students wanting to work during the holidays. 

Once their employment has been authorised by the relevant authorities, the expat employee can then apply for a long-stay Type D Visa which enables them to enter the country and stay temporarily.

While some other types of Schengen visas can be used to enter other Schengen countries as well as the country of application, the D Visa is generally limited to one country. Expats will need to apply for this visa at a Belgian embassy or consulate in their home country.