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Travel-to-Belgium

 


Travel to Belgium
COVID-19: impact on travel to Belgium

1) Temporary travel restriction on Extra-Schengen travel to Belgium

As a precautionary measure against the rapid spread of COVID-19, the European Heads of State or Government have decided on 17.03.2020 to temporary restrict the non-essential travel of third country nationals.  This was decided following a proposal of the European Commission. These travel restrictions are imposed to drastically reduce incoming people flows at the external borders.

What are the implications for Extra-Schengen travel to Belgium?

In Belgium the restrictions on non-essential Extra-Schengen travel apply until 15.06.2020. After this date, the restrictions may be prolonged.  

The travel restrictions apply to all non-essential travel to Belgium. Only travel for essential purposes can take place.

The travel restrictions do not apply to:

  • Nationals of EU Member States and Schengen Member States, for the purposes of returning to their homes;
  • Third-country nationals who are in possession a residence card (or D-visa) delivered by a Schengen Member State, for the purpose of returning to their homes;

    More detailed information on the scope of the restrictions can be found on the website of the European Union
    https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:52020DC0115&from=EN 

The air and sea carriers offering Extra-Schengen travel to Belgium have been informed of this and will refuse boarding in the state of departure to, for example:

  • Third-country nationals travelling on the basis of visa-free nationality, who do not hold a residence card (or D visa) delivered by a Schengen Member State;
  • Third-country nationals with a visa required nationality who present themselves with a C visa (= visa for short stay).

Further information on the website of the Belgian Crisis Centre

On the website of the Crisis Centre you will find further information about whether or not a travel is essential and which sanitary regulations must be complied with when you can still travel. This information is available in Dutch, French or German.

 

2) Suspension of visa activity

For the time being and until further notice, Belgian embassies and consulates no longer accept any visa applications and no longer issue visas, except in exceptional cases (essential travel). In most countries, the Visa Application Centres are also closed.

Visa application submitted before closure:

The examination of visa applications already submitted continues. However, in the event of a positive decision, the visa will not be issued immediately, except in exceptional cases (essential travel).

a)      Visa requested for a short stay (family visit, tourism, business, ...) :

If the visa was requested for a short stay, the visa may be issued after the situation has been normalised, provided that the applicant still meets the entry conditions. 

b)     Visa requested for a long stay (family reunification, work, studies, ...) :

If the visa was requested for a long  stay, the visa may be issued after the situation has been normalised, without further formality, provided that the administrative situation of the applicant so permits.

Valid visa:

People with a valid visa are strongly advised to postpone any non-essential travel and to travel when the situation is normalized. 

a)     Valid visa for a short stay (family visit, tourism, business, ...) :

If the period of validity of the visa issued for the postponed trip is insufficient to cover the duration of the new trip, a new visa may be requested on presentation of the following documents: 

  • visa application form indicating the new travel dates 
  • proof of payment of the handling fee
  • copy of the travel document with the visa issued for the postponed trip
  • proof of the arrangements made for the new trip (e.g. new date set for the conference or professional meeting, new invitation, etc.), and 
  • travel health insurance covering the duration of the proposed new trip. 

b)     Valid visa for a long stay (family reunification, work, studies, ...) :

If the period of validity of the visa issued for the postponed trip is insufficient to cover the duration of the new trip, a new visa may be requested on presentation of the following documents: 

  • visa application form indicating the new travel dates 
  • proof of payment of the handling fee
  • copy of the travel document with the visa issued for the postponed trip.

The visa will be issued systematically by the post after checking the administrative situation of the sponsor (identity card or valid residence permit, no removal) and whether the family reunification project (living or settling together) is being maintained.     

c) Visa for marriage or legal cohabitation in Belgium:

If the period of validity of the visa issued for the postponed trip is insufficient to cover the duration of the new trip, a new visa may be issued systematically:

  • after checking the administrative situation of the future spouse or partner (identity card or valid residence permit, no removal);
  • after confirmation that the family reunification project is maintained (recent certificate of single status, new marriage declaration, confirmation by the future partner of his willingness to declare legal cohabitation); and 
  • upon presentation of visa application form, proof of payment of the handling fee, copy of the travel document with the visa and travel health insurance covering the duration of the proposed new trip.