Coming to Belgium, we cannot help but mention the massive renaissance architectural masterpieces, the mouth-watering chocolate shops, the full-flavoured beers and the capital Brussels - the "heart of Europe" gathering. full of the quintessence of Western Europe. The opportunity to study in a vibrant and peaceful country, especially with such a world-leading education system, must be something that many young people dream of.
1. Apply to a University in Belgium for a letter of acceptance:
The first and most important step in applying for a Belgium student visa is to obtain an acceptance letter from the Belgian university you are going to study. If you are still not sure which school you want to study at, you will have to decide before you can begin your student Visa application process. After being admitted to a university in Belgium, you will receive an acceptance letter for your Visa application. Here are some of the best Universities in Belgium:
2. Visa types when studying in Belgium:
To study in Belgium, international students may or may not need a visa and a residence permit. But how do you know if you need a visa? The answer depends on your nationality and length of study:
- Students from countries of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland DO NOT need a visa or a residence permit.
- Students not in the above group need to apply for a type D visa if they plan to stay in Belgium for less than 90 days. If the study period is longer than 90 days or more, they must apply for a D visa and then they must apply for a residence permit.
3. Learning opportunities in communities in Belgium:
Belgium adopts a federal state structure and is divided into 3 Communities:
- Flanders , Dutch community in Belgium: where Dutch is the primary language.
- Wallonia , French Community where French is the primary language.
- The German community , much smaller than the two above, uses German as the main language.
Each state may have different policies and regulations for international students. So find out if your certificate is recognized in those communities.
4. Required documents when applying for Visa
- Passport (valid for 3 months longer than Visa)
- Two original visa application forms.
- Acceptance letter from a Belgian university (usually original document plus two copies)
- Copy of education degree.
- Cover letter/letter about your motivation to apply for Visa.
- Proof of your financial ability to cover all your expenses for one academic year (€670/month). You can prove your financial ability by:
- Bank statement.
- Proof of scholarship.
- Proof of financial support.
- Sponsorship letter (if there is a sponsor), along with the sponsor's income statement and bank statement.
- Health Certification.
- Certificate of Good Conduct (or local equivalent) if you are over 21 years old (including fingerprinting)
- Visa application fee (€70 for short-term visa and €210 for long-term visa)
NOTE: Additional documents may be requested later by the embassy or consulate.
5. How to apply for a Belgium student visa:
- Be admitted to an accredited Belgian educational institution.
- Contact the nearest Embassy/Consulate for assistance in the visa application process. You will have to pay the application fee (which will be refunded if your visa application is refused).
- After completing the online visa application , you need to make an appointment with the Embassy/Visa Application Center to submit your application at least two months before departure. You can get your passport back by courier or in person after your application has been processed.
- You can track the status of your application here .
- Conditions for applying for a residence permit:
– Within 8 working days of your arrival in Belgium, go to the municipal administration or the town hall (maison communale/gemeentehuis) to apply for a residence permit. With this type of permit, you can open a bank account, apply for a work permit or apply for insurance in Belgium. You can also apply for a residence permit at your school to get help from that party.
– Your residence permit can be renewed annually between 30 and 45 days before its expiration date.
- Working with Student Visa
– You can apply for a Class C student work permit at local employment agencies in Belgium.
– Any foreign student at a Belgian university with a valid residence permit can work up to 20 hours/week outside of holidays as long as the working hours do not interfere with their study hours.
– You will need to get a written fixed-term contract, called a “Student Employment Contract” from your employer. During the holidays, you can work without a permit.
Learn more here.