Higher education students
Application for a long term visa for students
How to apply?
As of December 1st, 2018, all visa applicants for long term visas from the age of 6 years old will have to apply in person, at which time their fingerprints and picture will be taken. Visa applicants will have to book an appointment at the Consulate General or Embassy where they wish to apply.
The Consulate General in Atlanta also accepts electronic Visa-On-Web applications (printed application form and documentation must be sent by postal mail or courier service), and allows the applicant to come in person to have their fingerprints and picture taken at a later stage.
Please make an appointment:
Los Angeles : visa applicants must create an account and schedule an appointment online: visaonweb.diplomatie.be
New York : visa applicants must create an account and schedule an appointment online: visaonweb.diplomatie.be
Atlanta : visa applicants must create an account and schedule an appointment online: visaonweb.diplomatie.be
Washington : visa applicants must create an account and schedule an appointment online: visaonweb.diplomatie.be
Important: please cancel your appointment online or notify us by e-mail if you cannot come to the consulate as planned. Separate the copies from the original documents and print/copy double-sided when possible.
Documents to submit:
1. Passport, valid for 15 months + 2 copies of the picture page
2. Visa application form + 1 copy duly completed, dated and signed
Please include a signed print-out of the application form that you completed on Visa On Web (VOW) after registering on the website visaonweb.diplomatie.be + 1 copy
3. Language form (in French, Dutch or German) + 1 copy; 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.
A. Indicate your name: full name as it appears on your passport (nom du demandeur, naam visumaanvrager, Name Visumbewerber)
B. Number of the file will be indicated by this office (numéro du dossier - dossiernummer - Aktenzeichen)
C. Indicate in what language you wish your file to be handled:
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)
D. Date the form (format: DAY MONTH YEAR (NOT: MONTH, DAY, YEAR)
E. Sign the form (no need to notarize it)
4. Two recent passport pictures, with the name of the applicant clearly written on the back
5. A nationwide criminal history record (FBI Identification Record) + 2 copies (if not sealed), dated within six months of your date of application for the visa. No authentication (apostille) is required
Who has to present this document ?
- Students at an establishment, accredited by the Belgium Government for higher education or the preparatory year ahead of higher education, from the age of 21.
- Students at an establishment, not accredited by the Belgium Government from the age of 18.
ONLY FBI CHECKS PRINTED ON TAMPER PROOF PAPER OR IN THEIR ORIGINAL SEALED ENVELOPES ARE ACCEPTED
6. A medical certificate (PDF) according to the model enclosed + 2 copies. For a list of physicians affiliated with the Embassy or the Consulate General, click here.
If you choose your family physician, the doctor's signature needs to be notarized by a notary public and authenticated by apostille, which is to be obtained from the Secretary of State where the notary public has his/her office.
The medical document can be issued maximum 3 months before the date of your application.
7. Proof of sufficient means: a financial support declaration (affidavit of support) or a proof of grant, scholarship or student loan, as explained here:
A. The financial support declaration (Dutch form - French form) signed by the applicant’s sponsor (one person only), guaranteeing payment of travel, living, educational, medical and repatriation expenses. This form needs to be completed in the language of the school you will be attending (Dutch or French).
Please note that you have to fill out a copy in ONE language and that you cannot fill out the bilingual copy!
For your convenience, you can find a bilingual copy of this document below.
The sponsor needs to date and sign the financial support declaration document, and add the mention ‘read and approved’ in the language of the form (in French: ‘lu et approuvé’ – in Dutch: ‘gelezen en goedgekeurd’) and join a notarized copy of his/her driver’s license or foreign passport with US visa or permanent resident card. (Suggestion: the financial support declaration can also be signed by the sponsor in front of the visa officer, thus avoiding the presentation of the notarized copy of the driver's license or passport).
The signature legalization fee is: 24 USD
Do not have the sponsor’s signature legalized by a notary public or an Honorary Consul.
As proof of solvency, the following documents should be provided by the sponsor who is signing the financial support declaration:
- W2 form of the last fiscal year
- Recent letter of employment stating type and length of contract (deliverd in the last 6 months)
- Pay slips covering the last 3 months
- Form 1040 'individual income tax return' (first two pages)
- Bank statements covering the last 3 months
B. Scholars who have a scholarship or grant should submit original proof thereof + 2 copies.
IMPORTANT: Proof of financial means and relevant documents are not required if the funds to cover all expenses, including accommodation, have been transferred in advance to the school in Belgium. In this case, pleave provide the original proof thereof (official documents from the school or university) + 2 copies.
8. An attestation from an academic institution + 1 copy, certifying that the applicant is accepted and/or registered as a regular, full-time student. For Fullbright and BAEF scholars, a letter from the sponsoring organization is required.
9. Students who will attend an establishment not accredited by the Belgian Government also need to provide:
- A motivation letter + 1 copy explaining why you chose this particular institution to continue your studies, precisely describing the courses that will be followed and explaning how these are different from programs available in the US.
- 2 certified copies of your latest academic transcripts.
10. A self-addressed prepaid 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 lost items during shipping.
Remarks: Do not use metered postage (for mailing to the Consulate General in New York only). Please note that the Embassy of Belgium in Washington DC and the Consulate General in New York no longer work with FedEx.(You can use UPS or USPS).
11. Fee to be paid at the time of application: 216 USD
The visa application fee is non-refundable.
Please refer to the following table for payment options:
|Embassy in Washington||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Consulate General in Atlanta||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Consulate General in Los Angeles||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Consulate General in New York||No||Yes||Yes||No|
Personal checks are not accepted.
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 and the Consulate General of Los Angeles may you pay with Visa or MasterCard.
12. An additional fee is required for applicants 18 and over: 204 EURO or 358 EURO (payment through the bank). For instructions see: New contribution for visa LONG stay - D.
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For your dependent family members (also 1 original with one copy and an extra set of originals for use in Belgium):
A complete application package as stated above (except for items 7, 8, 9, and 10), and in addition:
- For your spouse: an extract (not older than 6 months) of the marriage certificate with an apostille + 2 copies, a medical certificate + 2 copies, and an FBI background check + 2 copies
- For the children: an extract (not older than 6 months) of birth certificates with an apostille + 2 copies and a medical certificate + 2 copies. The FBI background check is neede for children over 18 years old.
- Proof of lodging for the whole family + 1 copy: please make arrangements to obtain accommodations prior to your intended departure (the International Student Office of the university in question may be able to assist you).
- Proof of health insurance + 1 copy. This can be proven in 2 ways: with an attestation from a Belgian health care fund that the dependents will be covered, or with a travel insurance including a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000 and a validity of minimum 3 months.
- If applicable, proof that the principal visa applicant is already authorized to reside in Belgium (copy of registration at a university)
If the spouse and/or children are not US citizens, please contact the consular office for further instructions.
You will need translations (in French or Dutch) of the US birth certificates and marriage certificates to register in the commune where you will reside.
IF YOU ARE MARRIED TO A EU-CITIZEN, PLEASE CONTACT THE CONSULATE WHERE YOU HAVE TO APPLY FOR YOUR VISA.
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UPON ARRIVAL IN BELGIUM
It is important that you register yourself and your family with the City Hall of your place of residence in Belgium within 8 days of your arrival. Make sure that all passports are endorsed by the immigration authorities when first entering Belgium (at airport or other border post).
The local authorities will process your registration identity document that will allow you to enter and leave the country as a legal temporary resident of Belgium.