The APS procedure for Chinese students wanting to study in Belgium

Chinese students who have completed their secondary school studies in the People’s Republic of China and wish to continue their higher education in an institution of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, need to obtain an APS certificate before obtaining a visa from the competent Belgian authorities in China. 

Please note
The APS procedure does not apply to people who wish to start studying in French-speaking Belgium on the basis of a gaokao 高考 (Chinese secondary education diploma). However, you must apply for équivalence of the gaokao in order to gain access to higher education (enrolment in the bachelor's degree).

What is the APS procedure for Chinese students?

The APS procedure is a prerequisite for obtaining a student visa. It is not a selection or academic admission procedure. In French-speaking Belgium, it is the higher education institutions that decide whether or not to admit students.
The Academic Examination Office at the German Embassy in Beijing (APS-Beijing centre) checks the higher education diplomas or certificates presented by the applicant.

There are two stages to obtaining an APS certificate:

  1. The authenticity examination: This first stage looks to check the authenticity of documents (the certificate, diploma, etc.) presented by the Chinese “applicant student”.
  2. The plausibility interview: After authenticity, plausibility is evaluated for the documents submitted. Depending on the marks recorded, the examiner may question the student about the course contents and thus also verify the expected acquisition of the skills, competences and knowledge by the student.

At the end of the two phases, if the result is positive, the APS-Beijing centre issues an APS certificate which must be presented when applying for a visa, in addition to the other documents normally required.

What are the conditions for exemption from the APS procedure?

Candidates may be partially or completely exempted from the APS procedure if they are studying in French-speaking Belgium as part of an organised or funded mobility scheme.
However, even in this case, the higher education establishment in the Wallonia-Brussels Federation may require the APS procedure to be followed, for example if the documents provided do not appear authentic or plausible.
The conditions for partial or full exemption are described in the brochure on the APS procedure: Brochure APS en anglais (.pdf) (This brochure will be updated in 2024).

Do you have any questions?
If you have any questions, you can contact the Directorate-General for Higher Education, Lifelong Learning and Scientific Research by e-mail: