Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in the United States
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Updates on COVID-19 and Travel Restrictions:

LIST WITH ANSWERS TO FAQ'S ON COVID-19: LINK

Updates on COVID-19 and Travel Restrictions

> > > UPDATE FEBRUARY 12, 2021

Travel to Belgium – travel restrictions remain in force until April 1st

Until April 1st 2021, non-essential trips in and out of Belgium are prohibited. People with their main residence outside of Belgium are therefore not allowed to travel to Belgium. The travel ban will be monitored for road, air, sea and rail traffic.

Limited exemptions for essential travels to Belgium are allowed (compelling family reasons, humanitarian, study, professional reasons,…):

  1.  For EU and Schengen citizens (Belgians included) OR people residing in the EU/Schengen zone: list of exemptions in Annex 2
    If travelling for essential reasons, you will need to carry a sworn statement
    Transit through Belgium is authorized.

  2.  For others (non-EU or Schengen citizens and living in the USA): list of exemptions in Annex 3.
    If travelling for essential reasons, you will need a visa or an essential travel certificate from the  Belgian Embassy or Consulate General with jurisdiction over the state where you are a resident.
    Transit allowed only to a country outside the EU/Schengen zone.

The other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (negative PCR test less than 72 hours before boarding, Passenger Health Locator Form and quarantine/testing) remain mandatory. Each traveller, from the age of 6 must have a negative test result based on a test carried out at the earliest 72 hours prior to departure. For exceptions: www.info-coronavirus.beIn all cases it is advisable to contact your airline before your trip.

More information: 

> > > UPDATE JANUARY 26, 2021

Travel to Belgium

From Wednesday 27 January to Monday 1 March 2021, non-essential trips in and out of Belgium are prohibited. People with their main residence outside of Belgium are therefore not allowed to travel to Belgium. The travel ban will be monitored for road, air, sea and rail traffic.

Limited exemptions for essential travels to Belgium are allowed (compelling family reasons, humanitarian, study, professional reasons,…):

  • For EU and Schengen citizens OR people residing in the EU/Schengen zone: see list of exemptions in Annex 2.

If travelling for essential reasons, you will need to carry a sworn statement.

Transit through Belgium is authorized.

  • For others (non-EU or Schengen citizens and living in the USA): see list of exemptions in Annex 3

If travelling for essential reasons, you will need a visa or an essential travel certificate from the  Belgian Embassy or Consulate General with jurisdiction over the state where you are a resident.

Transit allowed only to a country outside the EU/Schengen zone.

The other measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (negative PCR test less than 72 hours before boarding, Passenger Health Locator Form and quarantine/testing) remain mandatory.

More information: www.info-coronavirus.be

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> > > UPDATE JANUARY 14, 2021

  • Travelling TO the US

From January 26th, all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country will need to get tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from Covid-19 from a healthcare provider/public health official.

Without this documentation the airline will deny boarding:

- proof of negative Covid-19 test (nucleic acid amplification test or viral antigen test)  
        OR
- proof of positive test Covid-19 and letter from your healthcare provider/public health official stating that you were cleared to travel after having recovered from Covid-19

Each passenger has to give to the airline an attest (available here) stating that they have received a negative test result or have been cleared to travel.

For more information and FAQ: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/fr-proof-negative-test.html.

The current travel restrictions for foreign nationals who have been in the following countries (including Belgium) during the past 14 days remain applicable.

  • Travelling TO Belgium

Before travelling, please contact your airline regarding the obligation to present a negative Covid-19 test as some airlines require it for all passengers (whether you are residing in Belgium or not).

Only PCR tests are accepted and this should be mentioned explicitly on your test results.

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UPDATE DECEMBER 30, 2020

Tightened rules on foreign travel following the decisions of the Belgian Consultative Committee of December 30, 2020

(Measures published in the updates below (December 28) remain applicable, with reinforced controls).

As of December 31, 2020:

1. Mandatory quarantine after a stay of more than 48 hours in a red zone (including the US). Any person (residents and non-residents) returning to Belgium after a stay of at least 48 hours in the red zone must remain in quarantine. The quarantine can only be terminated with a negative PCR test performed on the seventh day of quarantine. This measure is currently in effect until January 15, 2021.

There are exceptions in only a few strictly limited cases:

  • For travelers who perform critical functions in essential sectors: work can be authorized at the place of employment with a certificate from the employer.
  • Students are authorized to exceptionally interrupt their quarantine to sit an exam (only to take the exam).
  • Residents who have stayed abroad for professional reasons can waive the mandatory quarantine until January 4, 2021, subject to a certificate from the employer certifying the professional reason for the trip. From January 4, 2021, the assessment of the Passenger Location Form will take into account business trips certified by the employer.
     

2. PCR test on return to Belgium, on the first and seventh day. Residents returning from a red zone and having stayed there for more than 48 hours must be tested on the first day and on the seventh day of the quarantine. From January 2, 2021, people will receive an SMS (text message) on their return that will allow them to come to a test center. At Brussels Airport, the testing capacity will be further increased to allow travelers arriving in Belgium to be tested voluntarily on the spot.

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UPDATE DECEMBER 28, 2020

Please be advised that Belgian authorities have imposed tighter rules: 

1)     For any arrival in Belgium from December 28th 2020:

  • If you do not reside in Belgium and you are travelling to Belgium from a red zone, including the United States, you will have to present a negative PCR Covid-19 test to enter Belgium. The test should not have been taken more than 72 hours prior to your departure to Belgium.              
  • All travelers coming back from a red zone including the United States have to stay in quarantine unless told otherwise by the Belgian authorities.
  • In all cases it would be advisable to contact your airline before your trip. 

2)     In addition, from December 21st, the mandatory Passenger Health Locator Form will be strictly verified

3)     From January 2021 a new passenger locator form (PLF) will be available for people travelling for business. 

4)     Transit through Belgium from the United Kingdom to the country of your nationality or main residence is authorized, provided that this country is in the European Union or in the Schengen zone.

For all updates and details about the new rules, the new PLF, the length and modalities of the quarantine, etc. please visit: www.info-coronavirus.be/en/travels

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TRAVELING TO THE US

Short term 

The US prohibits access to its territory (including in transit) to all foreigners who have stayed during the 14 days preceding their trip to the US in one of the 26 Schengen countries, including Belgium, but also the UK, Ireland, China, Iran, or Brazil (including stays in transit in these countries).

Exceptions apply to US permanent residents, foreigners traveling at the invitation of the US Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus, and others deemed of ‘national interest’. As a general rule, the exceptions apply to direct family members as well. 

Certain business travelers and investors may qualify for ‘national interest exceptions’. Business travelers and investors who have a valid visa or ESTA authorization that was issued prior to the effective date of Presidential Proclamations 9993 (13.03) or 9996 (16.03) or who are seeking to apply for a visa, and believe they may qualify for a national interest exception should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling. If a national interest exception is approved, they may travel on either a valid visa or ESTA authorization, as appropriate.

Please note: upon return to Belgium, the travel restrictions under ‘Traveling to Belgium’ apply.  

Long term (visa)

The US authorities have suspended at least until December 31st 2020 issuance of certain work visas for foreign workers in the context of US economic recovery efforts. This includes H1-B (highly qualified personnel), H2-B (seasonal work), L (intracompany transfers) and certain J visas (cultural exchange).  

Exceptions apply for individuals whose travel would be in the national interest. Examples include labor and services in the food supply chain defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, COVID-19 patient treatment, COVID-19 medical research and activities necessary for the economic recovery of the US. 

On August 12, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) updated the exceptions to the nonimmigrant workers who are prohibited from being admitted to the US. For example, the DOS now provides an exception for H1B, L1A, and L1B workers who are “…seeking to resume ongoing employment in the United States in the same position with the same employer and visa classification”. 

Applicants who believe they may qualify for a national interest exemption or other exemption, should follow the instructions on the U.S. Embassy’s website regarding procedures necessary to request an emergency appointment and should provide specific details as to why they believe they may qualify for an exception.  

Please be advised that the US is conducting a substantive review of immigration policy for foreign workers and that further restrictions in the short term cannot be ruled out. 

 

Follow Local Guidelines 

While our Embassies, Consulate Generals and the call center in Brussels are ready to assist Belgian nationals, it is also important that Belgian residents in the U.S. take their own responsibility.  As the situation is rapidly evolving, we recommend following the guidelines of: 

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More information on travel to and from Belgium is available on the Corona website of the government (www.info-coronavirus.be).

 

Guidelines for Consular Visits

To protect your and other visitors’ health, the Embassy and Consulate Generals in the United States are strictly allowing visits by appointment only.  We ask visitors who have an appointment to:

  1. Not visit us if you or your family members have COVID-19 symptoms or had symptoms in the two weeks before the appointment:
    1. A body temperature of more than 37,5 °C (= 99,5 °F). Please check your body temperature right before coming.
    2. A cough
    3. Breathing difficulties and/or pain in your chest 
  2. Come alone. We will only allow one person/family at the time in the waiting room (or one child with an accompanying adult).
  3. Wash your hands for one full minute before entering our buildings or rinse with the provided hand-sanitizer.
  4. Wear a face mask.
  5. Bring your own pen, in order to minimize the risk of contagion.

We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

 

For Belgians who are temporarily stranded abroad, we are by your side and will do our best to find a solution. The following is a list of additional resources that has been put forth by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

  • All tourists abroad should register themselves at the Travellers-Online website and provide an update when back in Belgium;
  • In case of emergencies, the Ministry is providing assistance 24/7 via phone + 32 (0)2 501 4000, via their Facebook page, or through direct message on Twitter;
  • All over the world, Belgian expatriates share their advice and temporary solutions on Facebook group pages: FR pageNL pageDE page.

It is also important that our citizens take responsibility and follow the instructions of the competent local authorities closely (see above). In these highly exceptional circumstances, even the resources of the Belgian Embassies are limited.

 

Please check back often as this page is regularly updated.