How to Apply for a Belgium Student Visa

Belgium Student Visa

Are you looking for a Belgium student visa? If yes then you are at the right place. If you are from outside the EU and want to study in Belgium, you will need to get a student visa. This is also called a Schengen long-stay study visa. This visa allows you to study in Belgium for 1-2 years.

Before you apply for the visa, you should know about the requirements, how to apply, what documents you need, how much it costs, and other important details.  

In this article, we will learn more about the Belgium student visa, eligibility criteria, application process, visa fee, documents required, and more. So, let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • You need a student visa if your country does not have an agreement with Belgium.
  • You must show €666/month for living expenses.
  • Prove language Proficiency with accepted tests.
  • The visa fee is €200, validity is 1-2 years.
  • Apply for permit C from a local agency, and work up to 20 hours per week.
  • Apply for a residence permit within 8 days of arrival at Town Hall.
  • After studies, you have 9 months to find a job and switch visas.
  • Bringing family is possible with financial support and a valid visa.
  • In case of visa rejection, appeal with a detailed letter explaining your case.

Why Should You Study in Belgium?

Here are some of the top reasons why you should study in Belgium: 

  • Belgium is a country in north-western Europe. It has about 12 million people. It is known for its history in trade, finance, art, and politics.
  • Belgium is famous for being advanced and has cities like Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, Bruges, and Leuven, which are very nice to live in. 
  • It was one of the first countries to join the European Union and has many global organizations’ headquarters, like The Hague.
  • Most people in Belgium speak Dutch or French, but almost half can also speak English. This makes it easy for you to explore.
  • Even though Belgium is small, it has nine universities that are top-ranked worldwide. 
  • About 13 percent of people in Belgium were born in other countries. So you will find people from all over the world living there.
  • Belgium is a great place for international students because of its high living standards, friendly cities, and excellent universities. That is why more than 40,000 students from around the world study there each year.

Do You  Need a Visa to Study in Belgium?

Yes, if you are from a country without a visa agreement with Belgium such as the EU or EEA, you will need a Belgium student visa. 

But you do not need one if you are from the EU or EEA, or if you live in a Schengen country. 

If you are from the US, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Monaco, or the Republic of Andorra, you can apply for a residence permit once you arrive in Belgium.

How To Apply For A Belgium Student Visa?

Here is how to apply for a Belgium Student Visa:

  • To get a Belgium student visa, you first need to find a university that accepts you. 
  • Once you are accepted, you will need to fill out a visa application form with all your correct details. 
  • Make sure to gather all the required documents, and get them legalized or apostilled beforehand. 
  • Then, you will need to schedule an appointment at the embassy or consulate to submit your application. 
  • Please remember, you cannot apply without an appointment. 
  • Finally, be ready for an interview where they will ask about your plans for studying in Belgium and your future goals.

What Are The Requirements For A Belgium Student Visa?

  • To apply for a student visa, you will need to fill out a form with your personal information like your name, birthday, nationality, and occupation. Don’t forget to sign it! 
  • Make sure your passport is valid and has enough blank pages. 
  • You will also need two recent photos of yourself. 
  • Your health insurance should cover your entire stay in Belgium. 
  • You have to prove you can support yourself financially. It is usually around €666 per month. 
  • You must show that you have been accepted to a Belgian university with a letter. 
  • If your program is in English, you might need to prove your English skills with a test like TOEFL or IELTS. 
  • You should also provide a certificate showing you have no criminal record if you are over 21. 
  • If any documents are not in English, French, Dutch, or German, get them translated by a certified translator. 
  • If the embassy asks for more documents, please make sure to provide them.

What Are The Belgium Student Visa Financial Requirements?

When you apply for a student visa, you have to prove you have enough money to live in Belgium. It means about €666 each month for things like medical care, housing, food, and school expenses. 

Showing you have enough money is important for getting your visa. You need to prove you can pay for things like tuition fees and living costs. Depending on your situation, you will have to explain how you plan to cover your expenses.

Self-financing Bank statements
Funding by a family or sponsorStatement of sponsorship 
Scholarship funding Proof that you are the scholarship beneficiary

What Are The Language Requirements For a Belgium Studnet Visa?

To get a Belgium student visa, you have to prove you know the language. You can do this by passing a test in English or another accepted language.

Language Acceptable Language Test
DutchDutch NT2-II diploma

The minimum IELTS band requirements can vary. The minimum IELTS band required for universities in the Netherlands can differ from the requirements for universities in Japan

Belgium Student Visa Fees & Validity

Here are the fees for the Belgium student visa and how long it lasts:

Belgium Student Visa Fees€200
Belgium student visa validity 1-2 years 

Belgium Student Visa Extension 

If you want to stay longer in Belgium with your Belgium student visa, you can extend it. But you have to apply for an extension. To do this, you should schedule a meeting with the local office or town hall 14 days before your visa expires.

How To Apply For a Work Permit in Belgium?

If you are an international student in Belgium and want to work, you need a Belgian work permit C. You can get this permit from a local employment agency. With this permit, you can work up to 20 hours a week during your studies. 

Different countries have different rules regarding the work permit. For example, the rule for work permits on student visas in Latvia can vary from the rules for work permits in Greece.

You will need a contract from your employer. It is okay to work while studying, but make sure it doesn’t affect your schoolwork. During breaks, like holidays, you can work without needing a work permit.

How To Apply For a Belgium Residence Permit?

Once you are in Belgium with your long-stay visa, you need to get a residence permit. You should do this within 8 working days of arriving. 

You can go to the Town Hall or the local municipal office to do this. Having a residence permit is important. 

The residence permit lets you apply for a work permit, open a bank account, and get medical insurance. 

Sometimes, your university can help you apply for a residence permit. So it is worth asking them for assistance.

How To Switch From Student to Work Visa in Belgium?

In Belgium, if you finish your studies, you can switch from a student visa to a work visa. After you complete your education, you will have 9 months to find a job in Belgium. During this time, you can look for work opportunities. 

But please remember, to change your student visa to a work permit, you must already have a student visa for Belgium. You can apply for the work visa at your local town hall.

Tips for a Belgium Student Visa Application 

If you are thinking about applying for a Belgium student visa, here are some helpful tips for you:

  • First, check when the visa application office is open.
  • You can make an appointment online by emailing the embassy. 
  • At some embassies, you can upload your documents and get your visa within 2 weeks.
  • If you need to cancel your visa or change your appointment, be sure to let the embassy know.
  • Visa processing times vary depending on your nationality, how long you will stay, and how many people are applying. It is best to apply as soon as possible.

Can You Take Family Members to Belgium on a Student Visa?

If you are studying in Belgium, you can bring your family with you. Here is what you need to do:

  • Find a good place for you all to live.
  • Get health insurance for everyone in your family.
  • Make sure you can financially support your family while you are in Belgium.
  • Your family can stay with you as long as your visa is valid.

What If Your Belgium Student Visa Is Rejected?

When you apply for a type D visa, the Aliens Office decides whether you get it. If they say no, the embassy or consulate you applied to will tell you.

If your application gets rejected, it might feel bad. But don’t worry, you can still have a chance to study in Belgium

If you have made mistakes before, you can fix them and try again. But if you think they made a mistake in saying no, you can appeal their decision.

To appeal, you need to write a good letter. In the letter, include your name, passport number, contact details, and the date they said no. You must explain why you think they are wrong, give evidence, and then sign it.

Belgium Student Visa Summary

VisaStudent Visa (D) & Residence Permit
EligibilityAcceptance by Belgian University
Process1. Get Accepted
2. Apply & Schedule Appointment
3. Submit Application & Attend Interview
DocumentsApplication Form, Passport, Photos, Insurance, Financial Proof (€666/month), Acceptance Letter, Language Test (if applicable), Criminal Record Certificate (over 21)
Financial Requirements€666/month (proof of self-funding, scholarship, or sponsorship)
Language RequirementsEnglish (TOEFL/IELTS/PTE/DET),
French (DELF/DALF),
Dutch (NT2-II diploma),
German (DSH/TestDaF)
Validity1-2 years (extendable)
Work PermitUp to 20 hours per week with Permit C
Residence PermitRequired within 8 days of arrival
Switching to a Work VisaPossible after graduation (9 months to find a job)
FamilyA family reunion visa is possible with proof of accommodation, finance, and health insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is a Belgium student visa easy to get?

No, but you can still get a Belgium student visa if you meet the requirements. As per the latest data, about 45.8% of Schengen visa applications were rejected.

2. Is IELTS required for a Belgium student visa?

If you are going to study at a Belgian university in English, you will need to show your English skills with a test like IELTS or TOEFL. But if your classes are in French or Dutch, you will need a test score in that language instead.

3. Can students get PR in Belgium?

Yes, you can apply for permanent residence, but you have to live in Belgium for at least five years with a temporary permit first. After that, you can submit your application for permanent residency.

4. How much bank balance is required for a Belgium visa?

When you are showing your bank statement, it need to have enough money for your whole trip. You should have at least 45 Euros for each day you are in Belgium, or 95 Euros if you are staying in a hotel. For example, if you are staying for 30 days, you need to show you have at least 1350 Euros.

5. How long does it take to apply for a student visa in Belgium?

When you are getting ready to leave, it is important to apply for your visa about 1-3 months beforehand. Most Belgian embassies or consulates will ask you to come in person to submit your application and sometimes to pick up your passport with the visa inside. It usually takes about 2-4 weeks for the visa to be processed, but sometimes it can take longer.


If you are from a country outside the EU or EEA and want to study in Belgium for more than three months, you will need a Belgium student visa.

This visa is called a Type D visa. It costs about €200 for handling fees. It works like a residence card and lets you move freely within the Schengen Area.

Getting a Belgian student visa is not easy. So you must follow all the steps mentioned in our article to make your visa process hassle-free and easy.

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