Please read the information below carefully to find answers to your questions.
The Schengen Area is composed of 26 countries.
The six other European Union Member States still outside the Schengen Area are the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia.
The EU Member State - Cyprus, is not yet a fully-fledged member of the Schengen Area. Border controls between Cyprus and the current members of the Schengen Area are to be maintained until the EU Council decides that the conditions for abolishing internal border controls have been met. However, Cyprus considers the Schengen visa, as well as residence permits from other EU Member States, as equivalent to its national visa for the purpose of a transit that does not exceed 5 days. The Principalities of Monaco, Andorra, San Marino and Holy See (Vatican City State) allow entry to their territories without any formality to Schengen visa holders.
The following is the list of countries that are currently members of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Domestic passport holders - All domestic nationals must have a valid visa to enter the Schengen area, regardless of the duration of their stay and no matter what kind of travel document they have, except if they have a valid residence permit which enables them to stay in the Schengen area.
Nationals of other countries - Citizens of some countries are exempted from the requirement for a visa to enter the Schengen area for a short stay or transit, for details please check the following website.
Yes. Following a decision of the European court of Justice the cancellation of a passport does not cancel the visa affixed to the cancelled passport. Therefore, you can travel with a valid Schengen visa in a cancelled passport provided that you travel with a new valid passport mentioning the same name.
Schengen visa (short stay)
For citizens of some countries, a Schengen visa (Type C) issued by one of the member countries is required when staying in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days.
With a Schengen visa, you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen Area. Short stay visa allows the traveller, assuming all other conditions are met, to enter the territories of any Schengen country to pay a single continuous visit or multiple visits, the duration of which does not exceed 90 days in any 180 days period.
A short stay (Schengen) visa can be issued for either single entry or multiple entries into the Schengen zone.
National visa (long stay)
If you wish to stay longer than 90 days you will need a national long stay visa (Type D) or a residence permit.
Any stay longer than 90 days falls under national jurisdiction and is not part of the Schengen Agreement.
Airport transit visa
An airport transit visa is required depending upon the country of your citizenship and whether you have residence permits or visas of certain countries. The visa allows the travelers transiting the Schengen territory and who will not leave the transit area of the airport.
Airport transit visa does not apply to Russian citizens. However, if the transit involves a change of airport, a regular transit visa is required.
Please consult the European Union’s website of the Migration and Home Affairs to know if your country of citizenship requires an airport transit visa in order to transit through an airport in Belgium.
Russian passport holder are exempted from transit airport as long as they do not leave the international transit zone of the Airport and that the transit time is less than 24hours.
However: If you change air carrier in Brussels and that you have to check-in again in Belgium: you will need a visa to access the check-in zone in Belgium. Please check with the air carrier in Belgium whether or not you need to leave the international transit zone to check in in Belgium (the Embassy cannot answer this question).
Please check the following picture.
DURATION OF STAY ... DAYS indicates the number of days you may stay in the Schengen area. The days should be counted from the date you enter the Schengen area (the entry stamp) to the date you exit the Schengen area (the exit stamp), i.e. both days included.
The period of time between “FROM … UNTIL” is usually longer than the number of days printed in the “DURATION OF STAY” field. The difference in period is meant to give you flexibility to plan your entry into and exit from the Schengen area, but your stay in the Schengen area must never exceed the exact number of days in the “DURATION OF STAY …DAYS” field.
No matter how many days you have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave no later than the date printed in the “UNTIL” field.”
Applications Processed By TLScontact Russia
By agreement with the Embassy of Belgium, people residing permanently in Russia, applying for the visa types listed below should submit the documents at TLScontact Centre.
Schengen visa for a short-stay of up to 90 days:
National visa for a long stay of more than 90 days:
All non-Russian citizens living in Russia have to be legal residents of the Russian Federation and need to present the relevant documents (copy of residence permit, long-term visa or FMS registration). These documents need to be valid for at least 3 months beyond the planned return from the Schengen area or a document is to be submitted that the holder has applied for the renewal of proof of legal residence.
Note: The TLScontact procedure is not compulsory. Applicants can apply at the Embassy of Belgium to submit their applications with prior appointment. Please contact the call centre to make an appointment.
TLScontact supports the latest versions of these browsers:
Make sure your browser is up to date and get into the habit of installing software updates whenever they are available.
Internet Explorer (IE) 11 was released in 2013, and no feature updates released by Microsoft in years, which puts this browser behind others in terms of its ability to support new technologies. While Microsoft will continue to provide support for users of IE 11 for a few more years, the new default browser is Microsoft Edge.
The Schengen Information System (SIS) is a highly efficient large-scale information system that supports external border control and law enforcement cooperation in the Schengen States. The SIS enables competent authorities, such as police and border guards, to enter and consult alerts on certain categories of wanted or missing persons and objects. An SIS alert not only contains information about a particular person or object but also clear instructions on what to do when the person or object has been found. Specialized national SIRENE Bureaux serve as single points of contact for any supplementary information exchange and coordination of activities related to SIS alerts.
Further information on SIS is available here.
Visa applications for Belgium are received by TLScontact, please check Document and Visa Types.
You are required to submit your visa application at the TLScontact Application Centre or at the Embassy nearby where you are currently living.
You may only submit your visa application within the 180 days period prior to the intended date of arrival in the Schengen Area.
It is advisable to lodge an application at least 21 calendar days before the intended visit.
However, it is also recommended that you lodge your visa application taking into account national holidays of the country of destination and Russia. Please note that during holidays the operation of certain Consular services may be reduced.
You can find more detail information on how to take an appointment on TLScontact website here.
The Visa Application Centre can also support applicants who wish assistance concerning the whole visa appointment process. Website registration, form filling, appointment booking are covered to make your visa journey easier.
For more information, please contact us or ask our representatives at the Reception for assistance, when you arrive at the Visa Application Centre.
Personal appearance is mandatory for all visa applicants unless you are exempted from biometric data capturing.
If you are exempted from biometric data capture, a representative can apply on your behalf.
Please note the following points if you are applying through a representative:
Applicant’s picture must fully comply with the strict regulations. In the eventuality that you need to provide a recent compliant photograph to complete your application, a self-service photo booth is at your disposal inside the Visa Application Centres. To check the availability, please click here.
Express Courier Return can be requested during the appointment in the Visa Application Centre in order to receive the passport directly to a convenient chosen address once it is back from the Belgian Consulate Authority.
The Consulate may request you to provide additional documents or to attend an interview according to your personal situation, even after you have submitted your application at TLScontact.
If the minor needs to enrol his/her biometric data during the application, he/she has to come in person, please see the question “Personal biometric data capture in the Visa Application Centre”.
Please note that minors are not allowed to submit applications by themselves, they must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
In the eventuality that the representative is not the parent or the legal guardian of the minor, the representative must present an authorization letter signed by one of the parents or the legal guardian.
About signature on minor applicant’s passport
For passports of underage applicants the following rules apply: for applicants under 14 years old the passport does not need to be signed, for applicants 14 years old and above the passport has to be only signed by the minor.
It is not allowed for the parents or guardians to sign the underage applicant’s passport. If the parents or legal guardians sign the applicant’s passport, this passport cannot be used anymore to apply for a Schengen visa to Belgium.
About traveling without parents or legal guardian
Minors traveling independently or in a group are required to have a notarized travel authorization signed by either both parents or a legal guardian.
If a child is only accompanied by one parent: an authorization signed in front of a notary public by the parent who is not travelling, is required (original and copy).
This document must be translated into one of the official languages of Belgium (French, Dutch, German) and certified by an apostille.
Passports can be collected in TLScontact Visa Application Centres during the opening hours to the public.
Once your passport is back from the Embassy of Belgium you will be notified online on your personal account page and by SMS notification.
There are three ways to get the passport back:
1. Express Courier Return
You may have your passport returned to you by express delivery service. It will be sent directly to your convenient chosen address. Please click here to check the service availability.
2. Passport self-pick up
Please provide the following documents if you would like to retrieve the passport by yourself:
3. Passport pick-up by a representative
A representative may retrieve your passport on your behalf. The representative must provide:
Please kindly note that passports which have been returned by the Belgian Consular Authority to TLScontact and have not been collected from TLScontact within a period of 6 months from the moment of application submission will be returned to the Belgian Consular Authority.
Schengen visa for a short-stay of up to 90 days:
Provided your application is correct and complete, the average processing time for short-stay individual applications will take 15 (fifteen) days from the submission of your application. However, it is advisable to apply 3 (three) weeks before the departure date to Belgium.
If the Embassy needs to investigate an application further the processing time can be longer: in case your visa application was sent to Immigration Office (30 days) or when additional documents are required (60 days).
It is also recommended that you lodge your visa application taking into account national holidays of the country of destination and Russia. Please note that during holidays the operation of certain Consular services may be reduced.
National visa for a long stay of more than 90 days:
For a long-term visa (family reunification, study, work permit, professional card, etc.), the dates may vary depending on the type of visa:
If your documents were sent to the Immigration Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium, you can track the status of the request on the official website. Please visit the section “consultation visa” and enter the number of the dossier provided to you at the Embassy.
This number will be visible on your online Visa-On-Web form as soon as the application is received at the Consulate (the working day after the submission to the service provider). You will find this number at the very top of the form, under the heading "Basic information" in the field "Visa application number", which is composed as follows: BELXXXX (= code of the post) + 0 ... 0 (fill zeros) + 6 numbers constituting the visa application number.
For example, for the number "BEL0097000000000000000000000380927", the file number is "380927".
With this number you may check the status of the application on the website of Home Office in Belgium.
You can submit your visa application directly at the visa section of the Embassy of Belgium in Moscow ONLY FOR the household of an EU citizen.
In order to begin your visa application procedure, please create an account on Visa On Web and complete the electronic application form. Next, please register on the TLScontact Russia website, fill the data in and submit the information.
You need to book an appointment by calling TLScontact call centre and select a convenient time for you to submit your documents directly at the visa section of the Embassy of Belgium in Moscow.
Please print your appointment confirmation from your personalized page or alternatively from the email sent to you confirming your appointment. You will be required to present this confirmation to enter the visa section of the Embassy of Belgium in Moscow.
Please arrive on time at the visa section of the Embassy of Belgium in Moscow with your appointment confirmation and all the requested documents to submit your visa application.
Please note that if you do not come to your appointment, all your personal information will be deleted and you will have to register again.
If you have successfully provided your biometric data (10 fingerprint scan) for a Schengen visa application to a Schengen country within the previous 59 months, you can submit your complete application documents by post to the Visa Application Centre.
Please click here to check the service availability.
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 Centre.
For more information on the postal application submission process, please kindly visit the following link.
It is mandatory to fill your visa application form on Visa On Web prior to booking an appointment on TLScontact website.
The Schengen visa application form will be provided to you during the registration process and should be filled online.
Any person appearing in your travel document must complete a separate application form. The visa application form for a child under 18 must be signed by a parent or guardian.
If you need support with the form or don’t have time to fill it, we have the Form Filling Assistance service available in some Visa Acceptance Centre, our experienced visa application staff will support you. Please click here to check the service availability.
Before applying for a visa you must make sure that your passport is valid.
It is advised that you do not apply for a visa on a passport issued for multiple persons (e.g. parent and children together).
The two photographs required for any visa application must be:
For more information, please visit the link here.
In the eventuality that you need to provide a recent compliant photograph to complete your application, a self-service photo booth is at your disposal inside the Visa Application Centres. To check the availability, please click here.
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 should be:
TLScontact Visa Application Centre is offering applicants the ability to purchase travel health insurance, compliant with Schengen requirement. For more information, please click here.
Bank statements are supporting documents for a visa application.
Bank statements general requirements:
The letter of invitation is issued by the person inviting you to Belgium. If you are expected in the context of a professional or commercial relationship, an event of a political, scientific, cultural, academic or sporting nature, the letter of invitation is drawn up by a person authorized to commit the institution, the association or the company that invites you.
Invitation letter should be provided in one of the three national languages (German, French or Dutch).
The following information should be mentioned:
If the applicant has no or insufficient financial means, the declaration of commitment signed by a guarantor can be presented (Annex 3bis to the Royal Decree of 08/10/1981).
The declaration of commitment is valid proof of your financial means in case the Embassy or Immigration Office accept it.
This booklet contains all the information that a guarantor should read before signing a declaration of commitment. It also explains the procedure to be followed by the guarantor and by the person who is being financially supported.
All Short stay visa applicants have to provide their biometric information when applying for a visa. This includes a digital finger scan of 10 fingerprints and a photograph. The finger scan procedure uses an electronic scanner. In order to ensure acceptable finger scans, please make sure that your fingertips are free from any form of decoration or cuts.
Only applicants who are within the following categories will be exempted:
Further information on VIS is available on the website of the European Commission.
All Schengen visa applications - independent of the place of issue - are stored in the Visa Information System (VIS) database. Refused applications are stored as well in the VIS.
In the application form you are asked whether you have provided fingerprint scans during a previous visa application process. If you affirm this question, please always attach a copy of your previous Schengen visa sticker. The consular authority will copy your fingerprint scans for your follow-up application from the central VIS database.
If you have already provided the fingerprints for a previous Schengen visa, you can send directly your visa application by postal service and you will not have to come to the Visa Application Centre to apply. Please click here to check the service availability.
However, if the copy of your fingerprint scans is technically not possible, you might be required by the Consular Authority to submit the biometric data again.
There are 3 cases of exemption:
Further information on VIS is available on the website of the European Commission.
VIS is a system for the exchange of visa-data between Schengen countries. If fingerprints have been previously provided for a visa application to the US or UK, the fingerprints cannot be used for the Schengen-Visa application. Fingerprints that have been provided for a national visa can also not be transferred because of different databases.