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Travel-to-Belgium

 


Travelling to Belgium

Article 24 of the ministerial decree of October 18, 2020 on emergency measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) provides that non-essential travels to Belgium are prohibited.

However, these restrictions are not applicable to nationals of EU and Schengen Member States and to third country nationals in possession of a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen State or a valid D visa, as well as their respective family members. [Read more

These restrictions also do not apply in the following situations:

1) Travelling to Belgium from another Schengen State

There are no longer any specific travel restrictions from another Schengen State. Nevertheless, before travelling, passengers must fill out the Public Health Passenger Locator Form (PLF) in all situations described on it. Upon arrival, they will also have to respect the sanitary measures taken by Belgium. Therefore, they must keep updated on the evolution of the health situation in Belgium on the website https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/

Public Health Passenger Locator Form (online orPDF ) 

2) Travelling to Belgium from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus (non-Schengen EU countries)

There are no longer any specific travel restrictions from these states. Nevertheless, the conditions for entry into the Schengen area must be met. Regardless of whether or not the traveller is subject to visa requirements, all travellers must be able to prove that they meet the Schengen entry requirements when arriving at the Schengen external borders, by means of the necessary documents.

Furthermore, before travelling, passengers must fill out the Public Health Passenger Locator Form (PLF) in all situations described on it. Upon arrival, they will also have to respect the sanitary measures taken by Belgium. Therefore, they must to keep updated on the evolution of the health situation in Belgium on the website https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/

Public Health Passenger Locator Form (online orPDF ) 

3) Travelling to Belgium from a country considered safe by Belgium [update: 23/10/2020]

There are no longer any specific travel restrictions for people residing in Australia, South Korea, Japan, Rwanda, New Zealand, Uruguay and Thailand. Nevertheless, the conditions for entry into the Schengen area must be met. Regardless of whether or not the traveller is subject to visa requirements, all travellers must be able to prove that they meet the Schengen entry requirements when arriving at the Schengen external borders, by means of the necessary documents.

Furthermore, before travelling, passengers must fill out the Public Health Passenger Locator Form (PLF) in all situations described on it. Upon arrival, they will also have to respect the sanitary measures taken by Belgium. Therefore, they must to keep updated on the evolution of the health situation in Belgium on the website https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/

Public Health Passenger Locator Form (online orPDF ) 

4) Travelling to Belgium from a third country (a country that is not a member of the EU nor of the Schengen area)

Non-essential travels to Belgium are prohibited but exceptions are made for people with an essential function or need. These categories of exception, recommended by the European Commission, have been further specified at the Belgian level:

  1. health professionals, health researchers and elderly care professionals; 
  2. frontier workers; 
  3. seasonal workers in agriculture; 
  4. transport personnel; 
  5. diplomats, staff of international organisations, people invited by international organisations whose physical presence is required for the well-functioning of these organisations, military personnel, federal police personnel, civil protection personnel, law enforcement personnel, personnel from the Immigration Office, customs personnel and humanitarian aid workers, in the exercise of their functions;
  6. passengers in transit, both extra-Schengen (coming from a non-Schengen country) and intra‑Schengen (coming from a Schengen country); 
  7. passengers travelling for imperative family reasons, meaning:
  • trips justified by family reunification; 
  • visits to a spouse or registered partner residing in Belgium when, for professional or personal reasons, the spouses or registered partners live apart;
  • travel with an unregistered partner who does not live under the same roof; [Read more below]
  • travel within the framework of co-parenting; 
  • travel for funerals or cremations (first- and second-degree relatives);
  • travel within the framework of civil or religious marriages (first- and second-degree relatives).
  1. seafarers;
  2. persons travelling for humanitarian reasons, including travel for compelling medical reasons or to pursue urgent medical care;
  3. third-country nationals travelling for the purpose of study, including pupils, students and interns undergoing training as part of their studies and researchers with a hosting agreement; 
  4. Highly skilled third-country workers if their employment is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed abroad; [Read more below]
  5. movements of persons who come to work as an employee in Belgium, including au pairs, whatever the duration of this activity, provided that they are authorised by the competent Region (work permit or proof that the conditions of an exemption are met) ;
  6. movements of persons who come to work as a self-employed in Belgium, whatever the duration of this activity, provided that they are authorised by the competent Region (valid professional card or proof that the conditions of an exemption are met).
  7. movements of persons who come to work as an employee in Belgium, including au pairs, whatever the duration of this activity, provided that they are authorised by the competent Region (work permit or proof that the conditions of an exemption are met) ;

The conditions for entry into the Schengen area must be met. Regardless of whether or not the traveller is subject to visa requirements, all travellers must be able to prove that they meet the Schengen entry requirements when arriving at the Schengen external borders, by means of the necessary documents.

Furthermore, before travelling, passengers must fill out the Public Health Passenger Locator Form (PLF) in all situations described on it.

Public Health Passenger Locator Form (online orPDF )  

Upon arrival, they will also have to respect the sanitary measures taken by Belgium. Therefore, they must keep updated on the evolution of the health situation in Belgium on the website https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/

 

a) Highly skilled workers 

All workers who have been granted a single permit (RD of 8 October 1981, Annex 46 or 47) and researchers with a hosting agreement may apply again for a D visa. This D visa is required to travel to Belgium.

b) Professionnal travels 

Professional travels (short stay) remain prohibited, unless the essential nature of these travels has been established. Any questions regarding the obligation to obtain a work permit beforehand must be addressed to the competent Region.

c) Culture, art and sports

Travels (short stay) remain prohibited, unless the essential nature of these travels has been established.

d) De facto partners

Since September 1, 2020, a short visit (< 90 days) to the person with whom one has a stable and lasting relationship is considered an essential travel.

To prove the stable and durable relationship, the partners must:  

  • the partners have cohabited for 6 months in Belgium or another country; or
  • the partners have been in a relationship for at least 1 year, during which they met physically at least 2 times for at least 20 days. If a visit had to be cancelled due to travel restrictions (Covid-19), evidence that a visit was planned may be taken into account for the second visit; or
  • the partners have a child in common. 

If the stable and durable nature of the relationship has been established, the competent Belgian post can issue an essential travel certificate to de facto partners who are exempt from the visa requirement for a short stay and to de facto partners who have a valid visa issued by a Belgian post before March 18, 2020.

If the stable and durable nature of the relationship has been established, the competent Belgian post can issue a C visa (short stay) to de facto partners who also meet the conditions for entry into the Schengen area. The de facto partner must demonstrate in particular his willingness to leave the Schengen area when the visa expires.

In addition to proof of the lasting and stable nature of a relationship, the de facto partner subject to the visa requirement will therefore also have to present the following supporting documents to the diplomatic or consular post:

In addition to the essential travel certificate (original), the de facto partner not subject to the visa requirement and the de facto partner who has a type C visa issued by a Belgian diplomatic or consular before 18 March 2020, will have to travel with proof that they meet the Schengen entry conditions (see documents to be produced at the post by a partner subject to the visa requirement).

 

Visa and essentiel travel certificate

For a long stay (> 90 days) in Belgium, a valid D visa is required.

For a short stay (< 90 days) in Belgium:

a) Nationalities not subject to visa requirements

The person concerned must travel with an essential travel certificate (original). This certificate is issued by the competent Belgian embassy or consulate if the essential nature of the travel has been established.

Please note: An essential travel certificate is not required if it is clear from the documents in the traveller's possession that the travel is essential. For instance: seafarers (seaman's book), transit passengers (plane ticket), diplomats (diplomatic passport).

b) Nationalities subject to visa requirements

For a short stay in Belgium, the traveller subject to visa requirements must hold a valid C visa.

  • Visa issued before March 18, 2020

Holders of a valid visa issued by a Belgian diplomatic or consular before March 18, 2020, i.e. before the start of the health crisis, must also travel with an essential travel certificate (original). This certificate is issued by the competent Belgian diplomatic or consular if the essential nature of the travel has been established.

Please note : An essential travel certificate is not required if it is clear from the documents in the traveller's possession that the travel is essential. For instance: seafarers (seaman's book), transit passengers (plane ticket), diplomats (diplomatic passport).

  • Visa issued after March 18, 2020

A C visa issued by a Belgian diplomatic or consular after March 18, 2020, i.e. after the start of the health crisis, is considered as a visa issued for essential travel. Therefore, the traveller does not need to ask for an essential travel certificate, unless he is worried about difficulties (e.g. no direct flight to Belgium).

WARNING: Regardless of whether or not the traveller is subject to visa requirements, the conditions for entry into the Schengen area must be met. Therefore, simply establishing that the planned trip is essential is not sufficient to receive a C visa. Besides, all travellers must be able to prove that they meet the Schengen entry requirements when arriving at the Schengen external borders, by means of the necessary documents.

 

Submission of a visa application

The submission and processing of C and D visa applications has gradually resumed "on a global scale". The prerequisite for this gradual recovery is that the outsourcing partner whom the embassy or the consulate work with (VFS Global or TLS Contact) must be operational again.

In all cases (short and long stay), the embassy or the consulate checks whether the essential nature of the travel has been established and whether the conditions for issuing a C or D visa are met. (Read more about the conditions and the supporting documents to be presented on the website of the Immigration Office, the posts, VFS Global or TLS Contact).

 

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