Applying for a visa to Belgium involves several steps, and the requirements vary depending on the type of visa you need. Belgium, as part of the Schengen Area, issues Schengen visas for short stays (up to 90 days within a 180-day period), as well as national visas for longer stays and specific purposes like work, study, or family reunification. Here’s an overview of the general rules, process, and documents required for Belgian visa applications:


Types of Visas:

  1. Schengen Visa (Type C): For short stays such as tourism, business, or family visits.
  2. National Visa (Type D): For longer stays involving employment, study, or family reunification.


General Rules:

  1. Visa Application Submission:
    • Visa applications should generally be submitted at least 15 days before the intended visit and cannot be lodged earlier than six months before the start of the intended visit.
    • Applications must usually be submitted to a Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country or the country where you legally reside.
  2. Schengen Visa Rules:
    • You need to demonstrate the purpose of your visit (e.g., tourism, business meetings).
    • Proof of accommodation and return ticket.
    • Evidence of sufficient financial means to cover the stay and return.
  3. National Visa Rules:
    • Specific requirements will depend on the visa type, such as work permits for employment visas or acceptance letters for student visas.


Application Process:

  1. Completing the Application:
    • Fill out the appropriate visa application form, which can be downloaded from the website of the Belgian embassy or consulate.
    • Schedule an appointment at the embassy/consulate or via a visa application center if required.
  2. Document Submission:
    • Submit the completed application form along with all required supporting documents.
  3. Interview:
    • Attend a visa interview if required, especially for long-term visas or specific short-term visas.


Documents Needed:

  1. Common Documents for All Visa Types:
    • Passport with at least two blank pages and valid for at least three months beyond the return date.
    • Recent passport-sized photographs.
    • Travel medical insurance covering at least €30,000 within Belgium and the entire Schengen area.
    • Cover letter stating the purpose of the visit.
    • Proof of accommodation (hotel bookings, invitation from family/friends).
    • Round-trip itinerary or airline reservation.
  2. Financial Proof:
    • Bank statements or proof of earnings such as salary slips.
    • Sponsorship letter if someone else is financing your trip.
  3. Specific Documents Based on Visa Type:
    • Tourist Visa: Travel itinerary, hotel reservations.
    • Business Visa: Invitation letter from the Belgian company, proof of previous dealings with the business partners.
    • Student Visa: Admission letter from the Belgian educational institution, proof of sufficient funds to live and study in Belgium.
    • Work Visa: Employment contract approved by the Belgian employment authorities, necessary work permits.
  4. Visa Fees:
    • Fees vary depending on the visa type. Schengen visas generally have a standard fee, while national visas could vary based on duration and purpose.


Processing Time:

For the most accurate and personalized advice, it’s recommended to check the specific requirements with the nearest Belgian embassy or consulate as visa policies can vary and be subject to changes and specific bilateral agreements.


What to Do in Case of a Visa Denial by the Belgian Administration

Receiving a visa denial from the Belgian administration can be a frustrating setback if you are planning to travel, study, or work in Belgium. Here’s a structured approach to understanding and responding to a visa denial within the Belgian legal and administrative framework:

  1. Understand the Reasons for Denial: When your visa application is denied by Belgian authorities, you will receive a detailed denial letter. This letter explains the specific reasons for the refusal, which are usually based on the Visa Code applicable across the Schengen Area. It’s crucial to understand these reasons as they will directly inform your strategy for an appeal or reapplication.
  2. Administrative Appeal: In Belgium, if your visa application is rejected, you can file an administrative appeal. This appeal should be submitted to the Immigration Office (Office des Étrangers) within 30 days of receiving the decision. Your appeal should address each point of refusal cited by the embassy or consulate, providing additional evidence or clarification that might help overturn the initial decision.
  3. Judicial Appeal: Should the administrative appeal be unsuccessful, or if you wish to pursue another avenue simultaneously, you can escalate the matter to the Council for Alien Law Litigation (CALL). Filing a judicial appeal with CALL often requires legal assistance, as it involves more complex legal procedures. This step is similar to filing an appeal with an administrative court in other countries, but tailored specifically to Belgian immigration laws.
  4. Prepare and Resubmit Your Application (if applicable): Depending on the reasons for your visa denial, reapplying may be a viable option, particularly if the issues cited in the refusal (such as missing documents or incomplete information) can be easily rectified. Before resubmitting, ensure that you address all the concerns raised in the original refusal to improve your chances of approval.
  5. Consult an Immigration Lawyer: Navigating the complexities of Belgian immigration law can be challenging, particularly when dealing with appeals. Consulting with an immigration lawyer can provide you with crucial insights and guidance. A lawyer will help you understand the legal framework, prepare your documentation correctly, and represent you in proceedings if necessary.


Additional Tips:

By understanding and following these steps, you can effectively respond to a visa denial by the Belgian administration, potentially reversing the decision or successfully reapplying.

French, Belgian and Swiss business immigration & criminal lawyers

Our law firm was created in a spirit of innovation and with the desire to implement a distinctly modern approach to the practice of law. Lexial’s innovative geographical footprint allows the firm to serve customers in Brussels, Paris and Geneva dealing with European and international legal issues.

The firm focuses on specific areas of law. With Lexial, you are not a “number”, our team is voluntarily restricted in size because a customized relationship with our clients is a priority.

In addition to a selection of traditional legal services offered business and employment law, the firm has developed a specialized practice in international immigration law as well as in international criminal and political law. Lexial is every year classified as a leader among immigration lawyers and international criminal lawyers.

Thanks to its French and Belgian immigration lawyers, the firm possesses expertise in the area of international mobility in Belgium and France (especially French Talent Passport and Belgian Professional Card). We are also active in Switzerland.

Within this framework, we have developed strong relationships with Middle Eastern countries, in particular Gulf States (UAE, Kuwait and Qatar), Asia and North America.

The Firm applies the standard rules of ethics of European lawyers (CCBE).

WE DO NOT provide any legal opinion by telephone: please use our “on-line” consultation form.

Business immigration and criminal lawyers in France, Belgium and Switzerland


Créé en 2007 dans un esprit d’innovation et de modernité, Lexial est actif dans un nombre restreint de spécialités.

C’est tout d’abord en droit international et européen de l’immigration d’affaires que le cabinet s’est distingué compte tenu de l’expérience de ses avocats dans les domaines de la mobilité internationale, de l’immigration professionnelle et des problématiques propres à l’expatriation.

Le cabinet est à ce titre recommandé par différents organismes internationaux de référencement, mentionnés par ailleurs dans ce site.

Plus spécifiquement, nous conseillons nos clients en matière de permis de travail, de carte professionnelle pour indépendant, de permis de résidence et de nationalité dans les pays dans lesquels nous sommes présents.

Présent à Paris comme à Bruxelles depuis 2007, Lexial est depuis lors le cabinet de référence des Français de Belgique. Outre cette activité dominante, nous assistons les entreprises et les particuliers dans toutes les branches du droit des affaires, en droit du travail, ainsi qu’en droit pénal.

Ons advocatenkantoor werd opgericht met een innovatiegeest en de wens van een andere moderne aanpak van de rechtspraktijk in te voeren.

Het innovatieve geografische bedekkingsgebied van Lexial laat het kantoor toe, cliënten te bedienen van kantoren in Brussel, Parijs en Geneva, die met Europese en internationale rechtsaangelegenheden te doen hebben.

Het kantoor concentreert zich op een beperkt aantal deskundig rechtsvakken. Benevens de kleine selectie van traditionele rechtsdiensten die het voorstelt – strafrechtelijk, politiek, zaken- en tewerkstellingsrecht-, resulteerde de unieke aanpak van het kantoor in een enge scherpstelling op internationaal en Europees zakenimmigratierecht.

Het kantoor beschikt over erkende expertise op vlak van internationale mobiliteit, uitgewekenenzaken en beroepsimmigratie en kan aan cliënten raadgeven op specifieke materiën, m.i.v. werkvergunning, beroepskaart, nationaliteit en verblijftoelating in België, Frankrijk en Zwitserland.

Binnen dit raam ontwikkelden wij sterke betrekkingen met landen van het Midden-Oosten, in het bijzonder de Golfstaten (VAE en Qatar), maar eveneens met Azië en Rusland.

Наша компания была создана в духе новаторства и с желанием реализовать современный подход к юридической практике. Географическое положение офисов Lexial позволяет компании обслуживать клиентов в Брюсселе, Париже и Женеве по вопросам европейского и международного права. Компания сосредотачивает свою деятельность на ограниченных областяx права. В дополнении k более традиционным юридическим услугам – в уголовном, политическом, деловом и трудовом праве – компания развила со временем уникальный подход в облaсти миграции бизнеса на фоне европейского и международного законодательства. Компания обладает также большим опытом в области международной мобильности включая профессиональную иммиграцию, и может консультировать клиентов по конкретным вопросам, в том числе разрешение на работу, запрос на получение профессиональной карты, гражданства и вид на жительство в Бельгии, Франции и Швейцарии. В рамках нашей деятельности, мы разработали прочные партнерские отношения со странами Ближнего Востока, в частности государствами Персидского залива (ОАЭ и Катар), но и со странами Азии и России.


Lexial 律师事务所革新的地理位置让我们在布鲁塞尔, 巴黎和日内瓦的办事处能为客户们提供各种在欧洲和国际上的合法服务。

我们的律师事务所是针对有限量的地区和专业领域加上少量选择性的传统法律业务如 : 刑事案件,政治,商业和劳工司法官司等。

公司独一的专长是针对 国际和欧洲的商业移民业务。公司具有处理国际流动性移民和职业移民的能力同时也能为客户提供各种有关的专业咨询,包括申请工卡,职业卡和在比利时,法国和瑞士申请公民和居留证等业务。

在这个工作框架内, 我们和中东的国家, 特别是海湾国家(阿联酋和卡塔尔)和亚洲, 俄罗斯等国家也发展了强大的业务关系。

تم إنشاء شركتنا القانونية بروح الابتكار مع الرغبة في تنفيذ نهج واضح وحديث لممارسة الأنشطة القانونية ‘لكزيال’ وموقعها الجغرافي المبتكر الذي يسمح للشركة لخدمة الزبائن من خلال المكاتب الموجودة في بروكسل وباريس وجنيف التي تتعامل مع المسائل القانونية الأوروبية والدولية تركز الشركة على عدد محدود من مجالات الخبرة القانونية. بالإضافة إلى مجموعة صغيرة من الخدمات القانونية التقليدية المقدمة – الجنائية والسياسية والتجارية وقانون العمل- فقد أدى نهج الشركة الفريد من نوعه في العمل إلى التركيز الدقيق على قانون هجرة الأعمال الأوروبي والدولي تمتلك الشركة الخبرة المؤكدة في مجال التحركية الدولية، وقضايا العمالة الوافدة والهجرة المهنية، كما يمكنها تقديم المشورة للزبائن في مسائل محددة بما في ذلك رخصة العمل، البطاقة المهنية، المواطنة والإقامة في بلجيكا وفرنسا وسويسرا في هذا الإطار، قمنا بتطوير علاقات قوية مع دول الشرق الأوسط، خاصة مع دول الخليج (الإمارات العربية المتحدة وقطر)، وأيضا مع آسيا وروسيا