Visa & administrative processes: International student
To obtain a type D “long-term” visa, Belgian immigration law means that most non-EU nationals will need to request a residence permit before travelling. Also called a “provisional residence permit”, it is mandatory to enter the country and will allow you to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days. Please remember that you cannot enter Belgium with a tourist visa if you plan on staying more than 90 days. You can apply for a long-term visa from your embassy or Belgian consulate for your usual place of residence. You will be charged approximately €200 to cover administrative fees.
Please note: an appointment is often required to submit a visa application. Get the process started quickly; appointments fill up quickly at certain times of the year. A visa application can take 6 to 8 weeks to process.
All international students wishing to study in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation must prove that they have sufficient finances to pay for all their needs for the entire duration of their studies. For example, for the academic year 2020-2021, the minimum amount required is set as €670 per month. In order to prove that you have sufficient means of subsistence, you will need to provide the following evidence:
- proof that you are the recipient of a grant supplied by an international organisation or a national authority;
- a commitment to the Belgian state and to yourself on behalf of a Belgian or foreign person with sufficient resources;
- proof of legal, money-earning activities outside of the time normally given over to studies.
Fancy studying in French-speaking Belgium?
For each visa application, international students must provide the documents listed below to the embassy or Belgian consulate:
- Written confirmation from your chosen higher education institution. You have three different options:
- provide proof of enrolment on a course programme;
- provide proof of admission or pre-enrolment on a course programme;
- or provide proof of registration for an admissions exam.
- Your secondary school (high school) end of studies diploma, Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree, alongside a transcript of your grades.
- Proof that you are the recipient of a grant or proof of independent financial means of support.
- A medical certificate.
- A police certificate proving you have not been convicted of any crimes or common law offences, if you are over the age of 21.
You can find all the information you need about how to obtain a visa for Belgium and all the various documents required from the Public Federal Foreign Affairs Service and the SPF Internal Affairs Foreigners Service.
Once you arrive in Belgium ready to start your studies, you must, within eight days of arrival, register with the local authorities of your place of residence, to obtain your residence permit.
They will ask you for the following documents:
- your passport and long-term visa for Belgium;
- your certificate of enrolment in a Belgian higher education institution in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation;
- your proof of medical insurance;
- a recent photograph (taken no more than six months prior);
- a copy of your student accommodation rental contract (if already available) and proof of solvency.