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The following categories do not require a C-visa :
- US citizens
- Holders of a US Refugee travel document;
- Holders of a US Permit to Re-enter, when their nationality exempts them from the visa requirement;
- Holders of a diplomatic or service passport of certain countries (see exceptions and special categories here).
Please consult the following map to verify whether you need a visa via Schengen Visa Policy.
When traveling frequently to the Schengen area, you must respect the 90/180 days rule, or use the Schengen Calculator to prepare the next trip or visa application.
ETIAS travel authorization is an entry requirement for visa-exempt nationals traveling to any of these 30 European countries.
Please note that ETIAS has been postponed until mid-2025. For any and all information regarding ETIAS, please only consult the official website: www.europa.eu/etias.
Before applying, ensure that Belgium is your main destination and that the purpose of your trip has been determined. To do so, consider the following:
- If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, apply at the Embassy or Consulate General of that particular country.
- If you intend to visit several Schengen countries for tourism, apply at the Embassy or Consulate General of the country where you will stay the longest.
- If you stay an equal amount of days in different countries, apply at the Embassy or Consulate General of the country which is your first point of entry.
- If you intend to visit several Schengen countries for different reasons, combining professional and private travel, apply with the country where your main professional event takes place. Tourism is considered a secondary purpose for travel in this case.
When applying, make sure that your biometric data (fingerprints and photo) can be taken in person or has been collected within the last 59 months. First time applicants must make an appointment. Others, who have had their biometrics registered within the last 59 months by any Schengen country, can mail in their application with jurisdiction over the State of their primary residence.
The following categories of applicants do not require to have their fingerprints taken:
- children under the age of twelve (appearance in person not needed);
- applicants for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible (appearance in person needed);
- 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 (appearance in person not needed).
When to apply
It is recommended to apply at least 15 business days but not more than 6 months ahead of the planned travel date. Non-residents and applicants traveling on non-ordinary passports will be subject to longer processing times.
Spouses and dependents of EU/EEA nationals may be entitled to an accelerated visa procedure free of charge if they meet certain criteria at the time of application (European Directive 2004/38/EC).
Where to apply
Applicants appearing in person, can make an appointment at the diplomatic post of their choice.
When applying by mail, make sure to send your application to the consular post competent for your place of residence.
Residents of Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and all other islands can also apply at the diplomatic post of their choice in the U.S when applying in person.
How to apply
Visa applicants must create an account online on visaonweb.diplomatie.be and schedule an appointment, if they did not submit their fingerprints to any Schengen country in the past 59 months.
Applicants who mail in their documents, must have their signature notarized.
The need for more than 1 entry for non-business related travel must be clearly demonstrated with transportation in and out of the Schengen territory. Only 1 entry is required when traveling within the 27 countries. Multiple entries are normally not issued for tourism.
What to submit
Depending on the purpose of your travel, please see the following list of required documents. Note that additional documents may be requested.
- Tourism checklist (PDF, 115.1 KB)
- Family/friend visit checklist (PDF, 97.56 KB)
- Business checklist (PDF, 92.32 KB)
- Culture / Sport / Conference checklist (PDF, 112.14 KB)
- Diplomats on an official visit checklist (PDF, 134.13 KB)
Diplomats and their families applying for Schengen visas for private trips follow the same procedure as above (family visits, tourism). The handling fee is due even when traveling on a diplomatic passport.