Belgian student visa application
If you are a national of a non-European Union country, you may need a visa to enter Belgian territory and study at the Brussels School of Governance. For questions regarding visa and related matters, contact the Belgian embassy or Belgian consulate in your country or a neighbouring country.
The time it takes to obtain a student visa may vary from one to several months depending on a variety of factors including the student’s age and country of origin. We recommend that students apply for their student visa as soon as they are accepted into the programme.
We will confirm acceptance via the issuance of an official acceptance letter, which is necessary for all student visa applications. It should be noted that student visas for study in Belgium are only issued to applicants demonstrating proof that they are accepted as a full-time student at a Belgian institution.
We allow students to opt for a blocked account for visa purposes. The amount is linked to the duration of the student’s stay in Belgium and it is proof that you have sufficient financial income or support for the duration of your stay. This must cover your healthcare, living, study and accommodation costs as well as the cost of your return ticket. This can be in the form of a certificate stating you have received a grant or scholarship, an agreement of financial responsibility from your sponsor, or your personal bank statement showing sufficient funds. More information can be found on the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Students who have been accepted to one of our programmes can inquire more about this option directly with our Financial Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visa requirements vary according to the student’s country of citizenship and residence. Therefore, students must contact the Belgian consulate overseeing their jurisdiction to obtain a complete list of requirements to apply for a student visa.
Application procedure and timeline
As you will undoubtedly want to travel during your stay in Brussels, we strongly recommend that you ask for a longstay Schengen Visa, or ‘Type D’ Schengen Visa, which will allow you to travel hassle-free to any of the countries within the Schengen region and to make multiple entries into Belgium (please note that the United Kingdom is NOT included in the Schengen region). This type of visa is not issued by all embassies/consulates. Please contact the Belgian embassy or consulate nearest you for details on their specific procedures and requirements.
It should be noted that not every country and, in the United States, not every state has a Belgian embassy or consulate. As such, you may need to travel to another country/state in order to submit your application.
Most Belgian embassies or consulates require that the applicant appears in person for submission of the application and, in some cases, for retrieval of the passport and visa. You should apply for a visa between 1-3 months before leaving. Visa processing usually takes about 2-4 weeks but can take more. If you are 21 years of age or over, you are required to undergo a background check plus fingerprinting, a process that can take 6 weeks or longer. All instructions and forms can be found on the website of the Belgian Foreign Affairs Office or on the website of the Belgian embassy or consulate near you.
For our Undergraduate Summer Programme it is usually not necessary to apply for a student visa. Most students can be issued a tourist visa upon entry into Belgium.
Relevant web links: