17 Grosvenor Crescent
London SW1X 7EE
Telephone: 0871 3760023 (Monday – Friday 8.30-17.30)
Online: Embassy website
Do I need a visa to visit Belgium?
Some countries have special relationships with other countries which enables their residents to travel freely between the two without a visa. Check if you definitely need a visa to travel by checking Belgium’s embassy website.
How can I apply?
For easy and fast processing of your visa application, the application needs to be submitted at the 'Visa Application Centre’ (VAC) and not at the embassy. The address, as well as all other information, can be found on the TLS website.
You can start the application process on the TLS website. During this process you will need to make an appointment at the TLScontact Visa application centre:
Exhibition House, Ground Floor,
Addison Bridge Place
London W14 8XP
It is possible to submit your visa application at the embassy itself, provided you first make an appointment. Please note that waiting times are longer than at the VAC. Appointments may only be made via email on firstname.lastname@example.org
What documents do I need?
For a full list of documentation required, you should check the Belgian Immigration Office website as requirements may change:
As a guideline you should expect to provide:
- Completed application form x 1 Available to download
- One completed supplementary form
- Your passport or travel document which must be valid and in date. This must contain your student visa (which must be valid for at least 3 months longer than the validity of the Schengen visa applied for) Your passport must have a blank page to affix the Schengen visa sticker.
- 1 x passport photo: check the Embassy website for specifications
- Schengen letter available from your faculty.
- Health insurance to the value of at least 30,000 EU. Insurance is available from the Post Office, large supermarkets or various providers online The insurance company will provide you with a letter or certificate to include with your application
- Proof of travel plans this will be the flight / ferry / train booking for your trip. This country insists that you must pre-book your travel before application. .
- Proof of accommodation this will be the booking for the hotel or other accommodation you will be staying at. It is easy to find hotels that make bookings either with a small deposit or no fee at all, so book with one of these. See our tips in our travel pages.
- Letter of invitation. If you are visiting friends or family, they will need to write you a letter inviting you to come and visit. This should either be in English or in the language of the country you are visiting. If they are providing you with food and / or accommodation, the letter should state this as well.
- Proof of financial means. You should have approx. £60 per day available to you for the duration of your visit. You should provide bank statements covering the last 3 months or travellers cheques for the relevant amount to prove this.
- Schengen visa fee. This varies from country to country so check the website for charges and method of payment. It is usually 60 euros. The Belgian VFS Centre also have a service fee charge.
- Self addressed special delivery envelope. This is so that the Embassy can post your passport and / or documents back to you when a decision has been made and is available from all post offices.
- Copies of all documents provided. Generally, you will be expected to take both originals and copies of all your documents to your appointment with you.
Please note: It may take you several weeks to get an appointment at the centre, especially before the Christmas, Easter and summer vacations. Therefore, you should be making your application at least 8-12 weeks before you intend to travel.
How can I find out more?
If you have any further questions regarding the Schengen visa you can access the FAQ section on the TLS website.
You can find information on how to contact the TLScontact centre on their Contact Page.
How long will it take?
Information on processing times is found on the TLS website here.
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.
We recommend that you introduce your applications at least 15 days prior to the intended departure date. Applications can be introduced up to 90 days in advance.
All passport holders of the below list should keep in mind a processing time of at least 7 days: 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.
When you have had your documents checked, the embassy official will retain your passport (and the copies of your documents) for a decision to be made. Your passport will then be posted back to you. You can check the prospective time that you will have to wait here. Most embassies aim to return your passport within a few days. The Belgian Embassy also strongly suggest that you use their Tracking System.
How can the Immigration & International Student Advice Team help me with my Schengen visa?
The IISA Team does not offer a service whereby they make your Schengen visa application or appointment for you. This is because generally travelling outside of the UK during your studies is for your personal pleasure. They can however check through your documents before sending your appointment.
If you would like an adviser to check your documents for you, you should email email@example.com stating which country you are applying to and the date you will be travelling to London or when you will be posting your application. Please note that this service is not guaranteed and is subject to staff availability and IISA commitments.
You should start making your Schengen visa application at least 8-12 weeks before your proposed travel date.