Embassy of Belgium in Washington, DC

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TRAVELING TO BELGIUM

Visa for Visitors

General Information
Visitors (Schengen visa)


GENERAL INFORMATION ON SHORT STAY VISAS

US citizens in possession of a valid US passport (on the planned date of departure from Belgium, your passport should have at least another three months validity) do not need a visa for airport transit, tourist or business trips for stays up to 90 days within a six-month period.

Other travelers may apply for a Schengen visa, which allows them to enter Belgium or another Schengen country and then to travel freely throughout the Schengen zone for a period not to exceed 90 days.

Visa – Implementation of the Visa Information System (“VIS”) - 05/15/2014 - Application must be submitted in person.

The Visa Information System (VIS) is an IT system that allows Schengen States to exchange visa data. The main purpose of the VIS is to simplify the visa issuance process, to facilitate checks at external borders and to enhance security for everyone involved, including visa applicants.

In the USA, the VIS will be operational starting on May 15, 2014.

The VIS works by linking Schengen States’ embassies/consulates and external border crossing points to the central VIS database.

As of May 15, 2014, each individual applying for a Schengen visa in the USA must appear in person, so that the necessary biometric data – ten fingerprints and a digital photo – can be collected.

Exemptions for the fingerprinting requirements are granted to:
- children under the age of twelve;
- persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible;
- Heads of State and members of National Governments and their accompanying spouses, as well as the members of their official delegation when invited by Member States' governments or by international organizations for an official purpose.

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

1. If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, apply at the Embassy or Consulate of that particular country.

2. If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your main destination (i.e. place of your longest stay).

3. If you intend to visit several Schengen countries but do not have a main destination, apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your first point of entry.

Schengen visas issued by Belgian diplomatic and consular representations in the United States are designed to contain biometric data. When you apply in person, we highly recommend to allow your biometric data to be included in your visa application. Doing so will increase your safety and will help prevent abuse of your identity through the information included in your passport or visa. It will also help the Belgian border police to verify your identity when you arrive in the Schengen area.

VISITORS (Schengen Visa)

When to apply

It is advisable to apply for a Schengen visa at least three weeks prior to your departure date.

Where to apply

Schengen visas are issued by the Embassy of Belgium in Washington, D.C. and the Consulates General of Belgium in Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York. These visa offices are open in the morning only, in general, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and are closed on all U.S. and Belgian holidays. Honorary Consulates do not issue Schengen visas.

Applicants are expected to apply in the consular jurisdiction of their residence. To determine your jurisdiction, go the Embassy home page and select your state. Information is provided on where to obtain visas.

Residents of Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and all other islands within the jurisdiction of the Embassy of Belgium must apply at the Embassy of Belgium.

What to submit

  1. A passport or official travel document issued within the last 10 years and with validity that exceeds the intended stay of the applicant by at least three months. Please make sure that your passport has a spare page to which the visa may be affixed.

    Note: If the passport or travel document is not recognized by one or more Schengen countries, it is still possible to obtain a visa. This visa will then be restricted to those Schengen countries which accept the passport or travel document.

  2. One passport-size color picture.

  3. One visa application form
    English: Pdf or Word
    Dutch: Pdf or Word
    French: Pdf or Word
    Spanish: Pdf or Word
    German: Pdf or Word.

  4. Language form: (in French, Dutch or German); Choose one of the forms and indicate your language preference (or no preference). The option you choose will be used by the Belgian Home Office to communicate its decision regarding your visa application. There is no English version of this document. Please retain a copy for your records.

    1. Indicate your name: full name as it appears on your passport (nom du demandeur, naam visumaanvrager, name visumbewerber)
    2. Number of the file will be indicated by this office (numéro du dossier – dossiernummer - aktenzeichen)
    3. Indicate in what language you wish your file to be handled:
    4. I. have no preference (geen voorkeur, pas de preference, keiner sprache den vorzug)
      II. prefer French (français, frans, französischer sprache)
      III. prefer Dutch (néerlandais, nederlands, niederländischer sprache)
      IV. prefer German (allemand, duits, deutscher sprache)
    5. Date the form (format : DAY MONTH YEAR (NOT: MONTH, DAY, YEAR)
    6. e. Sign the form (no need to have it notarized)


  5. Proof establishing the purpose of your trip, for example a letter of invitation, proof of participation in group travel, etc. If the purpose of your trip is business, please present business references.

  6. Proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of your intended stay. Send one set of originals and one set of copies of bank statements and payslips (=statements of earnings) covering the passed 3 months. (E-statements are accepted)
    Proof of sufficient funds is required regardless if you travel at the expense of your employer.
    If you are self employed, send in a copy of your business license and copy of your recent tax return.
    If you do not have a regular income (a student, homemaker or retiree for instance) and intend to visit a family member or friend, submit the following:
    1. Original form “Annexe 3bis” or “Bijlage 3bis” (=financial support form) to be obtained by your sponsor (friend or family) from the municipal authorities
    2. Original statement of family composition of the sponsor (this is a standard document issued by the municipal authorities)
    3. Copy of the identity card of your sponsor
    4. Copy of the recent tax declaration of your sponsor and Copy of three recent statements of earnings of your sponsor
    To allow processing the visa without delay, fax or email all of the above. The originals can be sent in during the visa process. The sponsor must be a resident in Belgium

  7. Proof of lodging, i.e. hotel reservations, rental of vacation home, stay with a family member or friend. In the latter case, a financial support document signed by the family member or friend in question is the best way to prove that support is available; the signature of this person has to be certified by the local Belgian municipality. The guarantor should also provide you with a copy of his/her Belgian identity card (as proof of legal residency in Belgium) and a certified copy of his/her salary statement showing sufficient income.

  8. Proof that you can continue your trip after your visit to the Schengen countries, i.e. return airline ticket or ticket for further travel, and visa, if required. Please make sure to apply for your visa well ahead of your departure date. In some cases, applications need to be forwarded for prior approval to the Belgian authorities, so it is not advisable to purchase your ticket prior to obtaining the visa. In these cases, proof of airline reservations will suffice; you will have to show your ticket only upon issuance of the visa.

  9. If returning to the U.S., a valid U.S. resident alien card or a valid U.S. visa. Students should present a valid I-20; Exchange Visitors should present a valid

  10. Proof of travel/medical insurance (please note that your medical insurance card alone is not sufficient proof!) to cover possible medical expenses, hospitalization costs and/or repatriation for medical reasons while traveling in Belgium or in other Schengen countries. Minimum coverage must be at least 30,000 EURO. Please provide a photocopy and the original contract which will be returned to you. You will have to show proof of travel/accident insurance when entering the Schengen area.

  11. . If you are a minor (under 18), please present a birth certificate and written consent of your parent. In the case of guardianship, please present the court document naming the guardian as well as written consent. The signatures on this document have to be notarized.

  12. A pre-paid envelope if you wish to have your passport and visa sent back to your home address. The Embassy or Consulate General is not responsible for items lost during shipping.

At the time of application please bring originals and one copy of each document requested.

The applicant is informed that submitting the aforementioned documents does not guarantee automatic issuance of the visa. The consul may always request supplementary documentation or additional proof of solvency.

The holder of a Schengen visa is still subject to immigration control upon first entry into a Schengen country and is therefore not guaranteed automatic entry.

Cost

Click here for fee schedule.

The visa application fee is non-refundable, whether your visa is actually issued or not.

Please refer to the following table for payment options:

cash Certified
Check
Money
Order
Credit
Card
Embassy in Washington Yes Yes Yes Yes
Consulate general in NY No Yes Yes No
Consulate general in LA Yes Yes Yes No
Consulate general in Atlanta No Yes Yes No

Personal checks are not accepted.
Cash payments: exact change please and pay in person, not by mail.
Certified checks and money orders have to be paid to the order of:
• "the Embassy of Belgium in Washington" if you apply at the Embassy in Washington
• "the Consulate General of Belgium" if you apply at the Consulate General in Atlanta, Los Angeles or New York.
Incorrect money orders or certified checks will be rejected and returned to the applicant. Processing will only begin once the proper payment is received.

Only at the Embassy in Washington may you pay with Visa or MasterCard. In New York you can only pay with a money order or certified check.

Please note that Schengen visa applications for children younger than six years old are free.

A Schengen visa is issued free of charge to the foreign spouse and/or children of European Union nationals. The spouse should present a marriage certificate (duly translated into English when necessary) and the E.U. citizen's passport. A birth certificate must be presented for any child under the age of six.

 

 

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