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Frequently Asked Questions

Application Process

Passport Retrieval

Visa Information

Information for Minors (children under 18 years old)

Insurance

Accommodation

Marriage Certificate

Passport/ Travel Document

British Residency

Bank Statements & Payslips

Where can I apply for a visa?

To apply for a short or long stay for Belgium, visa applications are now received by TLScontact Centre in London.

  • If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consular authority of this country.
  • If you intend to visit several countries within the Schengen area in one continuous trip, you must apply for a visa at the Consular authority of the country of your longest stay (Travel plan)
  • If you intend to visit several countries within the Schengen area and the duration of your stay is the same in those countries, you should apply for a visa at the Consular authority of this country that is your first point of entry.

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How do I apply for a visa?

To apply for a visa, you should first Register on this website, and then follow the instructions. For more details about the procedure, please click here.

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Can someone else apply for a visa on my behalf?

Personal appearance is mandatory for all visa applicants, unless you are exempted from biometric data capturing.

  • Children under 12 years of age. Finger prints are not required
  • Applicant with previous Schengen visa delivered within 59 months. Click on here for further informations.

If you hold a Shengen visa delivered within 59 months with the remark « VIS », you can :

  1. Come in person (without new biometric data collection)
  2. To be represented by a third party who will need to provide on top of your completed application:
    • his/her personal ID (original and photocopy)
    • an authorisation letter from applicant

If you don’t hold a Shengen visa delivered within 59 months : come in person.

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When should I apply for a visa?

You may only submit your visa application 90 days before your date of departure.
We recommend that you apply at least 15 working days before the date you wish to depart as certain travel document holders and certain types of travel purpose may take longer than usual to process.

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What kind of visa do I need to apply for?

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Where can I get a visa application form?

The forms are available once the registration via VisaOnWeb is completed.

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What are the required documents for a visa?

In order for you to know the list of documents for your visa application, please create an account on TLScontact website.
You will then obtain a personalized list of required documents, according to the purpose of your stay in Belgium.
All documents must be provided in English, if the original document is in any other language it must be provided with certified translation into English.
Please ensure you have all the required documents on your TLScontact appointment.
In order to have your visa application quickly in the TLScontact Centre , please ensure you have your documents in the order listed on your documentation list.

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Could the Visa Section request me to provide additional documents or information?

Yes, the Embassy may request you to provide additional documents or information, according to your personal situation, even after you have submitted your application at TLScontact Centre.

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What will happen on the day of my appointment?

Please ensure that you plan your travel to arrive at the center slightly before your appointment time. Do not arrive too early as you may be asked to wait so that applicants arriving on time may be welcomed according to their appointment time.
At the welcome area, please have :

  • your appointment checklist,
  • passport
  • and application form ready for inspection.

1. At the Welcome area, a TLScontact agent will thoroughly check your documents for compliance with your application checklist.
2. At the Documentation area, you will then be issued with a submission confirmation document, which you must retain to retrieve your passport when it has been processed.
3. After confirming the documentation, you will be invited to make payment of fees.
4. After successful payment, you will be directed to the last step which is the biometric capture.

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Can I get my visa on the same day I apply?

No, there is no same day service, please click here for the processing times.

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Is there another visa section other than the one in London?

As a UK resident (England, Northern Ireland, the Bailiwicks of Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Isle of Wight, Scotland and Isle of Man), you canapply at the TLScontact Visa Application Centre in London.

Please see also “Can someone else apply for a visa on my behalf?

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My Schengen visa application has been refused. What can I do?

In the event that your visa application is refused by the Ministry of the Interior, you will be issued with a refusal notification. The coordinated law of 18 July 1966 on the use of languages in administrative cases legally binds the Ministry of the Interior to take a decision in one of the three national languages of Belgium (Dutch, French or German). The official refusal notification, which is an administrative decision, is therefore in one of the three cited languages above.

In order to assist applicants, the Embassy has provided a free translation (of which no rights can be derived) of the template document. This will allow applicants to have some basic information regarding the reasons of the refusal. Each refusal notification also has an accompanying motivation in Dutch French or German, but this is individual to each refusal notification and it is therefore impossible for the Embassy to provide translations on an individual basis.

Should you have any further questions (regarding the refusal or the appeals process), please direct them to the Ministry of the Interior or the Council for Alien Law Litigation.

We regret to inform you that the Embassy is not in a position to comment further on any refusal. There is therefore no need to contact the Embassy about refusals or appeals.

In case of refusal decision by the Belgium Consular Authorities of the visa you applied for, you can either choose to:

  • To appeal the decision, please refer to the procedure mentioned in your refusal letter.
  •  Or submit a new visa application

To Submit a new visa application, you will first need to book a new appointment with TLScontact center (schedule an appointment by register online on our website). Once your new appointment is booked, you will then need to come and submit your new visa application to our center and submit all required documentation relative to this new visa application. Warning: you will need to submit a complete new set of documentation and will have to pay service and visa fees corresponding to this new visa application.

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Why does it take so long for some nationalities to obtain their Schengen visas?

For certain types of travel document holder, the Embassy of Belgium in London must consult the other Schengen partners before making a decision on whether to issue a visa. Be advised that this consultation will occur every time you apply for a visa and that the process will take on average 15 calendar days from receipt at the Embassy of Belgium in London.
Please note that applications submitted at the TLScontact Visa Application Centre are transferred to the Embassy on the next working day, so take particular care when scheduling appointments that fall immediately before a weekend or public holiday.
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Can I borrow my passport from the Embassy and give it back after my urgent use during application processing time?

Should you require your passport to travel on urgent basis and would like to withdraw it on a temporary basis, kindly request for it to be returned to you and for your application to continue. You will need to do this in writing either by email or in person at the visa application centre.

The Embassy will continue processing your application in the meantime. Should the embassy require your passport back to make a decision on your application you will be contacted and you can send your passport back to the Tlscontact centre to continue the application process. The visa cannot be issued (if that is the decision taken) until the passport has been received back at the embassy of Belgium in London.

It takes a minimum of 3 working days to receive your passport after your request has been put forward and you can collect your passport at the Tlscontact Centre only. You can arrange to have your passport couriered to you and will be required to pay the courier fee for this arrangement. You will be informed by email when the passport is at the Tlscontact centre.

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Closing dates of TLScontact Center

Please find the closing dates of London TLScontact Center on Address and Opening hours page.

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Can I apply by post?

You are eligible to apply by courier (postal application) only if you meet the below mentioned criteria:

  • If you have a previous Schengen visa for which the biometric data capture has been taken in the previous 59 months.
  • And if you have received a previous Schengen visa from a Belgian embassy.

If you have not provided your biometric data during a previous visa application process, we kindly advise you to submit your application personally in the visa application center.

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How can I collect my passport?

Passports can be collected from Monday to Friday, 08:30 to 16:30 at TLScontact (excluding TLScontact’s closing dates).
When your passport is ready to be collected, you will be notified :

  • online on your personal account page
  • by email
  • and by SMS. 

You will invited to come to the TLScontact center with :

  • your “Application Checklist”,
  • a stamped copy of the passport ID page
  • a valid British ID.

Please remember that without a valid ID you will not be able to retrieve your passport.
If you chose to have your passport returned to you by service, it will be sent directly to the address you have specified. Please note that no other registered mail service may be used and we cannot accept Royal Mail Special Delivery envelopes as an alternative.

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Can TLScontact send me my passport by express mail?

TLScontact offers DX Secure delivery, allowing you to receive your passport directly at your home or your office.
Yes, TLScontact offers registered express mail, allowing you to receive your passport directly to your chosen address (home, office or third party) that you confirmed to us on the day of your appointment.

  • Make sure that your complete address, including property number/name and postcode, and telephone number on the address label is CLEARLY typed.
  • Allow a minimum of 24 hours before tracking your passport from the time TLScontact receives to DX Secure Delivery collect it.
  • DX Secure does not deliver to PO Boxes or British Forces Post Office.
  • A signature is required for the delivery of the passport.
  • Any person at the address location may sign for the delivery of the passport with a proof of ID.
  • If the courier attempts a delivery and no one is present;
    -the courier will leave a calling card where there is a suitable location to leave it.
    -the visa applicant must rebook a delivery within 10 working days after the first delivery attempt and should be at the delivery location. The courier will request a SIGNATURE and an ID to deliver the passport.
  • There are only two delivery attempts. The delivery service is only Monday to Friday (excludes UK Bank and Public Holidays).

To track or rebook your delivery, please visit www.thedx.co.uk or call 0844 3710000. Please provide with your tracking number (barcode) attached to your “Application Checklist”.
If the passport cannot be delivered after 10 working days, it will be sent back to TLScontact London.

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Can someone else pick up my passport for me?

Yes, a representative may retrieve your passport on your behalf provided that they bring:

  • Your application checklist
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • Original and photocopy of representative’s passport, driver’s license or other valid photographic ID card
  • An authorization letter signed by you

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Do I need a visa?

To find out if you are exempted from a visa, you will need to refer to the Belgian border control website, unfortunately it is only available in French or in Dutch.

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What is the difference between a Schengen visa and a national visa?

A Schengen visa (type C) is a visa issued by one of the member countries of the Schengen Area and is valid for a short stay, limited to 90 days within any 180 days period, only in the Schengen Area.
You need to submit your visa application to the Embassy / Consulate of your main destination, if you are traveling to several countries you need to apply to the country where you will be spending the most time. In case you spend equal amount of time in several countries, you need to apply to the first one you enter between those countries.
A national long stay visa (type D) is only valid for an establishment or a stay of more than 90 days in the country which issued the visa. The national visa allows, however, transit through other Schengen countries and for some (long stay Belgium citizen’s spouse, workers, students or visitors) it also allows traveling freely throughout the Schengen area.

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I have a valid British residency. Do I need another visa to travel to Belgium?

As the United Kingdom is not part of the Schengen Area, you may need a Schengen visa to travel. A British residency permit confers to the holder no right of entry into the Schengen Area.
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My British residency permit is expiring soon, can I still apply?

For short stay visa:
You can only apply if you still have a minimum of 3 MONTHS on your British residence permit from the day you leave the Schengen area.

For a short stay, the passport must be valid for 90 days after the planned date of leaving from the Schengen area.

The Embassy of Belgium in London cannot deviate from this legislation.

For Long stay visa:
Please be informed in order to apply, your UK visa must be valid on the date of your scheduled appointment.

Your passport must be valid for 12 months or more.

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Can I use my Schengen visa, issued by the Belgium Embassy, to travel to Spain?

Yes, under certain conditions : a Schengen visa allows its holder to travel freely within the Schengen Area, so travel to Spain or any other Schengen country directly from Belgium is possible. If you hold a multiple entry Schengen visa, you may also enter and leave the Schengen Area through any member country within the period of your visa’s validity. However, please note that you should always apply at the consulate of your main destination, so ensure you do travel to Belgium with the Schengen visa the Embassy of Belgium has issued you.

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How long will the visa valid for? Can I get a visa that will allow me several trips to the Schengen area?

The validity of the visa will be determined by the Embassy of Belgium in London by the visa officer when processing your application.

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I am participating in a school trip in Belgium organized by a British school. Do I need a visa?

Pupils/ schoolchildren/ high school students in general education, nationals of countries who would normally require a visa and travelling on a school trip organized by a British school, are exempt from an entry visa into Belgium if their names are entered on a “List of Travellers” form issue by the British Council.
This form is not, however, a valid travel document in itself, therefore each pupil must carry a valid individual official document establishing identity and bearing a photograph, such as:

  • a valid passport,
  • a valid travel document
  • or a valid ID card.

Further information about the schools trip exemption may be obtained from the British Council.
Please kindly note that the British Council cannot give general visa advice.
Also please note that pupils living on the Channel Islands are not concerned by the “List of Travellers” and will need a visa.

If you are traveling on a study trip organised by a University, you will need a visa. Click here to find out all the information : for Studies Higher Education (Art. 58 and 59) and Studies Private Establishment (art. 9 and 13).

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I’ve submitted my visa application, how long do I have to wait to get an answer?

For a short stay visa application:

The following processing times commence from the moment the application has been received by the Embassy:

Please note that the Belgian Embassy aims to process applications within a maximum period of 15 days of receipt of the application. Provided that a complete file is submitted, a decision can usually be expected much sooner.

However, it may take longer in certain cases: between 30 and 60 days (although a decision can usually be expected sooner) when additional documents are requested or if your application has been submitted to the Ministry of the Interior.

Specific information – please read carefully:

  • All passport holders of the below list should keep in mind a processing time of at least 7 days to allow for the compulsory consultation (VISION) of Schengen partners:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Palestine, Refugees, Stateless and Vietnam.

  • Applicants who are NOT UK-resident and who hold a Type C visit visa need to be aware that their application will take longer as their application has to be submitted to the Immigration authorities in Belgium (see above for processing time)
  • Applications in view of marriage (to be concluded in Belgium) or cohabitation have to be submitted as C-visa applications, but the processing time is that of a long stay visa.

Please do not contact the Embassy before 15 days have passed to request an update on your application.

For a Long stay visa applications:

It varies on the type long stay visa you are applying for. Please click here to find ou the processing times.

We strongly recommend that you submit your visa application at least 15 days prior to your departure date. The delays of visas processing above mentioned are purely informative and can be longer according to the specificity of cases.

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What is the Visa Information System (VIS) ?

As of the 20th November 2015, Schengen Member States are linked to the Visa Information System (VIS). The VIS stores the biometric data (10 fingerprints and the facial image) of visa applicants for 5 years. Therefore, personal appearance of all applicants for a Schengen visa is mandatory, except for :

  • children under the aged of 12
  • persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible
  • heads of States and members of the Nations Governments with accompanying spouses and the members of their official delegations when they are invited by Member States’ Governments or by International Organizations for an official purpose, sovereigns and other senior members of royal families when they are invited by Members States’ Governments or by International Organizations for an official purpose.

Once your biometric data have been captured, your personal appearance won’t be needed within a period of 59 months. The copy of this visa sticker will be requested for any new visa application without personal appearance, as following visas will use the stored biometric data.

Applicants will have the choice to either come in person or to be represented by an authorized third party:

  • authorized third party in possession of: his/her personal ID and authorization letter from the applicant ;
  • By post, if a visa from the Belgian Embassy in London has been granted in the past.

However, please note that if biometric data reveals not compliant, personal appearance will be requested.
*This procedure applies for all residents in the United Kingdom : England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, The Bailiwick of Jersey and Guernsey, Alderney, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Isle of Wight and the Isle of Man.

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When a child under18 travels alone or with one of the parents, which documents do I need to bring?

The Embassy of Belgium requires the child’s full birth certificate.
If the child travels with one of the parents, you will need to produce :

  • a photocpy of the passport of the parent not travelling with the child;
  • an authorisation signed by the parent/parents not traveling with the child;
  • in case of sole custody of the child, a copy of the court order establishing custody ;
  • in case of death of one of the parents, a copy of the death certificate ;
  • in case of loss of contact between the parents, a court order or any official document establishing the sole custody.

These documents may also be asked by border of entry, so please ensure you take them along with you.

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I have adopted a child who has not yet received a British passport. Can I apply for a visa to travel to Belgium on their behalf?

The Embassy of Belgium may issue visas to children whose adoptions are in progress in the UK upon receipt of confirmation from a social worker that the adoption is in progress and that nothing prevents the child from leaving the UK for a short period of time.
Issuing such a visa is subject to the respect of the regulatory measures under the child protection.

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What are the requirements for medical insurance?

Due to a regulation of the European Union (Decision 2004/17/CE of December 22nd 2003), there is a requirement to hold travel insurance, which is a compulsory document.
The travel insurance must clearly state the following information:

  • You as a named party on the policy. In the event that the policy document does not name you, official proof from the insurer that you hold such a policy is required in the form of a letter.
  • The area of validity must clearly cover the whole Schengen Area for a short stay; cover Belgium if required in the document list for a long stay.
  • The period of validity must cover the entire duration of your stay in the Schengen Area and applicants seeking a multiple entry visa must hold adequate insurance for at least their first stay. In signing the Schengen Visa Application Form, you agree to hold adequate insurance for any and all subsequent stays.
  • Coverage of at least EUR 30,000 in order to face any expenses that may arise in connection with your repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention or emergency hospital treatment, with these scenarios expressly stated on the policy document.

The original policy document, certificate of insurance and/ or a letter from your insurance company confirming your cover must be provided, along with copies of all relevant pages that confirm the above information. Please note that insurance quotations are not acceptable proof of insurance. In all instances it is necessary to clearly verify that the policy document provided is the same policy on which you are named.
If your insurance is held through your bank and contingent upon you maintaining your account there, your must provide official proof that you still bank with the organization in the form of a recent letter or bank statement (no more than one month old).
If your insurance is held through your company, you must provide a letter confirming the policy held and a copy of the relevant pages from the policy document.
Note that if your insurance does not strictly meet ALL of the above criteria, the TLScontact agent receiving you will mark this document as “Missing” and will include what you have provided as an additional document.
Missing documents may increase the risk of visa refusal.
If you need a travel insurance to cover your trip to Belgium, it must comply with the requirements above. You will find an appropriate insurance by clicking here.

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Can I use the European Health Insurance Card, issued by the NHS, in lieu of the medical travel insurance?

The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance since it may not cover all health costs and never covers repatriation costs.
As per current legislation, visa nationals must provide travel insurance that also covers the eventual cost of medical repatriation for medical reasons and emergency mdeical care with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000. This insurance must be valid for the entire Schengen area and must cover the entire validity of your first stay in the Shengen area.
Please ensure that your insurance certificate clearly states your name as well as the policy cover dates.
Be advised that your insurance must cover the duration of your stay in the Schengen Area.
If your bank account includes travel insurance, please provide full details of the cover.

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I am planning to stay with friends or family members at their home, do I have to provide the 3Bis sponsorship form?

You will not need to submit the sponsorship form “Annexe 3Bis”  if you have sufficient funds of your own. You will need to provide your last 3 months bank statements, and/or payslips, and/or traveller’s cheques. As proof of sufficient lodging, you will then need to ask your host to fill in the invitation letter and to provide you with a copy of his/her Belgian ID card or residence permit.

However if the host is financially sponsoring you, they will need to provide you with the original sponsorship form “Annexe 3Bis”, the family composition, last 3 months payslips and copy of their Belgian ID card or residence permit.

Your host can find the information required here

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I am married to an European Union National but I have misplaced our marriage certificate/ my spouse’s passport/ my spouse’s passport is expired. Can I still apply for a visa as the spouse of an EU National?

To apply as the spouse of an EU national, you must provide :

  1. Your marriage certificate/civil partnership 
  2. A proof of your spouse’s nationality in the form of a valid passport or national ID card.

If you are unable to provide either of these documents you will not be able to apply for a visa as the spouse of an EU national but may still apply in a normal capacity according to your travel purpose.

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My British residency/ passport expires soon. May I still be granted a visa?

For a short stay visit, your British residency permit and passport must be valid for 90 days after your intended date of departure from the Schengen Area. If you wish to apply, the decision will need to be taken by the Ministry, that process can take up to 60 days.

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I am the holder of an emergency/ temporary travel document. Is it recognized by the Belgium Authorities/ can I apply for a visa to travel to Belgium?

As it depends upon your nationality, please call us on +44 207 605 6744 or refer to the Contact Us section and send us a message after logging on your TLScontact account to describe your situation and we will contact you for advice.

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Can I travel to Belgium using a refugee British travel document with a black, blue or red cover?

If you hold a blue travel document (Conventions of Geneva 1951) issued by the United Kingdom, You do not require a visa to travel to Belgium directly. If you are traveling by Eurostar, some ferry routes, bus… you will need to contact the French authorities as France will be the first point of entry.

If you hold a red travel document (Conventions of New York 1954) issued by the United Kingdom, you do need a visa to travel to Belgium. Please note that the process will take a minimum of 10 days.

If you hold a black travel document issued by the United Kingdom, you require a visa to travel to Belgium. The travel document is not recognised by the following Schengen countries: France, Malta, Iceland, Spain* and Portugal* (*recognised only if it allows its holder to return to the UK with no time limit). Which means that you cannot travel by Eurostar, ferry, bus, Euro tunnel…

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I hold a service/diplomatic passport, do I still need to apply for a visa to travel?

To find out if you are exempted from a visa, you will need to refer to the Belgian border control website, unfortunately it is only available in French or in Dutch .

If you require a visa you are welcome to either apply through TLScontact or you may contact the embassy directly by email, London.visa@diplobel.fed.be, to request an appointment.

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My British residency card states that I am the “Family Member of an EEA national”. Do I require a visa to travel to Belgium?

If your British residency card states “Family Member of an EEA national”, that you are:

  • the spouse,
  • the child under 21,
  • or dependant,
  • or direct dependant parent of an EU national;

and you are either travelling together with this person or going to meet them in Belgium, you do not require a visa to travel. If you are traveling by Eurostar, car, bus… you will need to check with the French authorities as France will be your first point of entry. Please note that in any case it is up to the Border authorities to allow access to the country  so we would advise you to check with them directly.
However, if you fail to meet any of these criteria, you do require a visa to travel.
Please note that the quality of simply “being” a family member of an EEA national does not remove the passport holder’s requirement to obtain a visa for travel.

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I am in the UK on a Type C visa. Can I apply for a Schengen visa in London?

You can apply for a visa in the UK however as an non-resident only the ministry in Belgium can take the decision and that process can take up to 60 days.

We would strongly recommend to apply in your country of residence.

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My British residency permit is not stamped in my passport but it is on a separate piece of paper. Can I still apply for a visa?

As per international practice, your UK residency permit must be endorsed in your current passport or in the form of an identity card. If your residency permit is in an expired passport, you may apply for your visa and travel as long as you produce both passports.

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My bank only issues statement once every 3 months and I read that to lodge a visa application, documents must be less than 1 month old. What can I do?

You will need to produce the last official statement the bank sent you, a mini-statement or an Internet print-out of recent transactions, your bank card and your pay slips (if employed).

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My passport is damaged, can I still apply?

If you wish to apply even though your passport is damaged, it may increase the risk of refusal by the Consular authority.
A discharge document will be provided to you on the day of your application submission. TlScontact can’t be held liable once you have signed this document.
Please note that the service fees won’t be refunded in case of refusal by the Consular authority.

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