Applying for a Belgium Visa in the UK

Applying for a Belgium Visa in the UK

Belgium Schengen Visa Requirements and Application Guidelines for UK Residents

Any UK citizen who holds either a full UK passport or a BOTC, BOC, BPP or BS passport can travel to Belgium visa-free. However, many non-EU nationals who reside in the UK are still required to get a Schengen visa to travel to Belgium.


In recent years, following visa liberalization policies for non-EU countries, the number of countries whose nationals require visas to travel to Europe has slightly dropped. Here is the list of nationalities that are still required to get a Schengen Visa to visit Belgium and other Schengen states.

Stat: As per 2016, Belgium has issued a total of 179,357 uniform Schengen visas from 219,687 applications received.

Below you can find more information on applying for a Belgium visa from the UK.

Who can apply for a Belgium Visa from within the UK?

Citizens of these countries who have been residing in the UK for at least three months and plan on visiting Belgium are required to get a Belgium visa in order to be able to enter Belgium.

You should apply for a visa via the Embassy of Belgium in the UK if:

  • Belgium is the only Schengen country you plan on visiting
  • Belgium is your main destination (the country you will be staying the longest in)
  • Belgium is the first Schengen country you are visiting

In case you plan on staying in Belgium for more than 90 days you must apply for a residency permit, not a Belgian Schengen visa.

Although possible to apply for a Belgium visa even if you are not a UK resident you are strongly advised not to do so. If you are not a resident in the United Kingdom you should apply at the Belgian Embassy in your country of residence.


Belgium Visa application documents and requirements for UK residents

  • A valid passport or Travel document. Please make sure that:
    • Your passport has been issued within the previous 10 years,
    • Your passport has 2 full blank pages, one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page,
    • Your passport will be valid for at least three (3) months after the date you exit the Schengen Area.
  • A valid UK residence permit or other form of Identity Card. The UK residency permit must be endorsed in the actual passport (or on a new biometric ID card)
  • One application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant (please read the explanations carefully). You can also apply via 3rd party websites like this one here. You have to pay an extra fee for their services, but they will also help you with Appointment booking, Documents checking, Visa application as well as with Visa and Passport collection. For more information, please click here!
  • One passport format photo that has a light background, is rightly coloured, and shows full face features. The photo must be less than three months old and be attached with a paper-clip on the application form.
  • Biometric data (Applies only if you haven’t provided biometric data within the last 59 months):
    • Fingerprints
    • A copy of the passport bio page where the photo is included.

Note: Children under the age of 12 are exempted from providing fingerprints.

  • A cover letter that explains the purpose of the visit to Belgium
  • Proof of travel arrangements: Round trip flight/travel reservations or other proof of intended transport and complete itinerary of your visit to Belgium (if several Schengen States will be visited or if the trip covers several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries).
  • Travel Insurance stating that you are covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation not just in Belgium but in the whole Schengen zone (minimum coverage of € 30.000).
  • Proof of accommodation in Belgium:
    • Evidence of a hotel booking or rental agreement, or
    • Invitation from your Belgian host (family member, friend) with a copy of their passport (Proof of sponsorship)
  • Proof of financial subsistence:
    • A recent statement of UK bank account for the last three months that shows funds of at least 95€ per person per day spent in Belgium or
    • 3 most recent payslips, or
    • Copy of your credit card along with the recent credit card statement or
    • Traveller’s cheques

Note: Photocopies of the original documents should also be submitted and documents should not be more than one month old.

The documents listed above are documents required in all cases, regardless of the purpose of your visit in Belgium. Depending on your employment status, here is a list of additional documents that are required for your visa application:

For employees:

  • Employment contract
  • Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Leave permission from the employer
  • Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary

For the self-employed:

  • A copy of your business license
  • Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)

For foreign students:

  • Proof of enrolment
  • No-objection certificate from school or university

For retirees:

  • Pension statement of the latest 6 months

If unemployed and married to an EU citizen:

  • A recent (less than 3 months old) Confirmation of Employment letter from their spouse’s employer stating the position held within the company as well as the starting date,
  • Spouse’s valid passport
  • An officially translated marriage certificate. The translation must be in English, French or Dutch and must be certified as a true copy by the Embassy of the country where the marriage took place or by the Legalization Bureau of the Foreign Office in UK

Note: If the Marriage Certificate was issued outside the European Union, it must be stamped by the Foreign Office of the issuing country, or its Embassy in the UK.

Requirements for children under the age of 18

Parents or a an adult guardian are required to accompany their under-age children at the application center at the Belgian Embassy in London. Also, minors who are granted a Belgium visa are not allowed to travel to Belgium by themselves. They should be accompanied by an adult during their stay in Belgium.

Required documents for visa application for underage children

  • Proof of parent’s regular income (work contract with specified monthly income or a bank statement or business license)
  • Notarized travel permission from parent (parental travel consent)
  • If one parent lives in another country – their notarized parental travel consent

To find more about the documentation needed for applying for a visa to Belgium click here: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/belgium-visa/

All documents provided should be legalised and be in of the of the following languages:

  • English
  • French
  • Dutch
  • German

How to apply for a Belgian Visa from the UK?

To apply for a Belgium visa you must book an appointment with the Belgian Embassy in London This can be done in two ways:

  • By booking an appointment directly at the Belgian Embassy in London through email ([email protected]). The visa office works Monday to Friday from 2PM to 4.30 PM except on public holidays:
    • 2 January
    • Good Friday
    • Easter Monday
    • 1 May
    • 29 May
    • 21 July
    • 28 August
    • 25 December
    • 26 December

Note: This way of application is only accessible for holders of diplomatic passports and the spouse of a Belgian citizen

Reasons why you should apply for a Belgium visa through the IAM website

  • IAM’s visa advisors will contact you as soon as possible to confirm the suitable date and time for you to attend the visa processing center in the UK.
  • They will fill in an Application Form for Belgium Schengen visas online to secure your appointment and send it to you together with a complete list of requested documents and the confirmation of your appointment.
  • The IAM’s team will assist you in collecting the required documents and checking your prepared application to make sure your application has the highest possible prospect of success.
  • If you cannot collect your passport yourself, IAM’s representatives can arrange for collection. Alternatively, you may choose to have your application sent back by registered mail when you make your visa application.

For more information, please click here or start the visa application by filling the form online here!

Belgium Visa application and processing time

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You can apply for a Belgium Schengen visa 3 months before your planned trip. Depending on the nationality of the applicant, the processing time may take about 15 days from the day of your application. If everything is submitted correctly as requested the processing may take less than 15 days.

In some cases it may take up to 30 days or even 60 days if required documents are missing from the application or the application has been submitted to the Ministry of Interior of Belgium.

Therefore, in order to avoid unwanted complications, you are advised to make sure you provide all required documents and submit your application at least working 15 days before you plan on leaving the UK.

Applications of the following persons take at least 7 days to process (Source: TLSContact):

  • Nationals of the following countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Palestine, Vietnam
  • Stateless persons, refugees.

Belgium Visa fees for UK residents

Since Belgium is a Schengen state, visa fees are the same as any other Schengen visa. These are the costs of a Belgium Schengen Visa from UK:

Schengen Visa Category (by age) Fee in UK Pound Fee in Euro
Adult £54 £ 60 €
Child between 6-12 years of age 31.50 £ 36.66 €
Child younger than 6 years of age Free Free

Keep in mind that these fees may change depending on currency fluctuations and can only be paid in UK Pounds and payment must be made in cash or via credit/debit card. Also, visa application fee is not refundable and does not guarantee that you will be granted a visa.

Visa fee exemptions

The following persons are exempted from visa fee:

  • Children younger than 6 years of age
  • Spouse/family member of an EU/EEA national
    • Documents required for exemption:
      • Original Marriage Certificate, or
      • Original Birth Certificate

(These documents must be in English, French or Dutch)

      • Civil Partnership Certificate
      • EU/EAA national’s passport.

Belgium Visa fee discounts

Besides children of ages between 6 and 12 these are the countries whose nationals receive  receive visa fee discounts:

  • Albania*
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina*
  • Georgia*
  • Kosovo
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*
  • Moldova*
  • Montenegro*
  • Russia
  • Serbia*
  • Ukraine*

*Note: This only applies to those nationals who do not hold a biometric passport.

Frequently Asked Questions about Belgium Visas

Why do some nationals have to wait for their visa longer than some other nationals?

Since persons who are issued a Schengen visa from Belgium can travel across all Schengen countries, for nationals of some third world countries and stateless persons, “ex-post” information is required. Here is the list of such categories.

Can I apply for a visa if my British residency permit expires soon?

To apply for a Belgium visa your British residency permit must be valid for at least another 90 days.

Can I apply for a Belgium visa in London if I am in the UK on a short stay visa (Type C)?

Although Schengen country visa offices do not take visa applications from non-residents the Belgian implement a more relaxed rule for such applicants. The decision for type of application does not fall within the Embassy’s jurisdiction therefore it is directed to the competent Ministry in Belgium for further consideration.

The processing of such applications takes up to 60 days

Can someone else apply for a Belgium visa on my behalf?

You can authorize a third person to submit a visa application on your behalf. You are required to write an authorization letter while the authorized person must submit their personal ID.

However, this is only possible if you have submitted your biometric data within 59 months from the day of application. Otherwise, you must appear in person.

Note: Since children under the age of 12 are exempted from providing fingerprints applying for a Schengen on their behalf is possible.

Can I get my visa on the same day I apply?

The Embassy of Belgium does not issue visas on the same day you apply

My Schengen visa application has been refused. What can I do?

If your visa is refused, the Belgian Ministry of Interior will return your passport and send you a letter stating the reasons for refusal. As the Embassy does not give further explanations on the refusal you are advised not to appeal against the decision at the Embassy. The letter of appeal should be directed to the Ministry of Interior.

In the other hand, you can re-apply for a Belgium visa at any time. You should pay attention to the reasons mentioned in the refusal letter in order to make amendments where needed.

Also, all fees are non-refundable and do not serve as a guarantee of your application’s success.

Tips:

Embassy & Consulates of Belgium in the United Kingdom

Related visa information for the UK Residents: