Embassy of Belgium in Washington, DC

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Visa for Students (Higher Education)

To determine the consular office where you should introduce your application and to check office hours, please  click here.



Please submit in person:

1. Passport, valid for 15 months.

2. Two original visa application forms, duly completed, dated and signed.

3. Language form : (in French, Dutch or German); Choose one of the forms and indicate your language preference (or no preference). The option you choose will be used by the Belgian Home Office to communicate its decision regarding your visa application. There is no English version of this document. Please retain a copy for your records.

  1. Indicate your name: full name as it appears on your passport (nom du demandeur, naam visumaanvrager, name visumbewerber)
  2. Number of the file will be indicated by this office (numéro du dossier – dossiernummer - aktenzeichen)
  3. Indicate in what language you wish your file to be handled
    1. have no preference (geen voorkeur, pas de preference, keiner sprache den vorzug)
    2. prefer French (français, frans, französischer sprache)
    3. prefer Dutch (néerlandais, nederlands, niederländischer sprache)
    4. prefer German (allemand, duits, deutscher sprache)
  4. Date the form (format : DAY MONTH YEAR (NOT: MONTH, DAY, YEAR)
  5. Sign the form (no need to notarize it)

4. Three recent passport pictures, signed on the back.

Include three sets of the following documents: 1 original set and 2 sets of photocopies (collated and stapled)

The originals will be returned to you together with your passport and visa.  You will need them when you register at the city hall of your residence in Belgium.

5. For students 21 years and over : a nationwide criminal history record (FBI Identification Record) covering the last five years, obtained from the FBI CJIS Division (Record Request, 1000 Custer Hollow Road, Clarksburg, WV 26306), dated within six months of your date of application for the visa.

The FBI offers two methods for requesting your FBI Identification Record or proof that a record does not exist.

Option 1: Submit your request directly to the FBI.

Option 2: Submit to an FBI-approved Channeler, which is a private business that has contracted with the FBI receive the fingerprint submission and relevant data, collect the associated fee(s), electronically forward the fingerprint submission with the necessary information to the FBI CJIS Division for a national criminal history record check, and receive the electronic record check result for dissemination to the individual. Contact each Channeler for processing times.


Note: An FBI-approved Channeler cannot authenticate (apostille) fingerprint search results. A request for your FBI Identification Record or proof that a record does not exist must be submitted directly to the FBI if an authentication (apostille) is needed.

For more information, please go to the FBI website.

Please note that a nationwide criminal history record  is required for all students 18 years and over, if the student intends to study at a non accredited institution.

If you are attending a non accredited institution please submit legalized copies of your current degrees or letter of employment to prove that the studies you want to follow in Belgium complement your past education/career.

You will also need to include a motivation letter explaining why you chose this particular institution in Belgium to continue your studies.

6. A medical certificate (MS Word) - (PDF) according to the model enclosed. For a list of doctors affiliated with the Embassy or the Consulate General, click here.

If you choose your family physician, the doctor's signature needs to be notarized. The medical document should be less than 3 months old from the date of your application.

7.  A financial support declaration
(Dutch form - French form), signed by the applicant’s parents or sponsor, guaranteeing payment of travel, living, educational, medical and repatriation expenses. This form needs to be completed in the language of the school you will be attending (Dutch or French).

Please note that you have to fill out a copy in ONE language and that you can not fill out the bilingual copy!

For your convenience, you can find a bilingual copy of this document below.

  - Dutch/English

  - French/English


The sponsor needs to sign the financial support declaration in person (with valid ID) at the Embassy or Consulate General. The fee for this is Click Here .

Scholars who have a scholarship or grant should submit original proof of this.

8. As proof of solvency, the following documents should be provided by the sponsor who is signing the affidavit of support:

  - W2 form of the last fiscal year

  - letter of employment stating type and length of contract

  - pay slips of the last 3 months

  - form 1040 'individual income tax return'

  - a letter from your bank stating since when you have been an account holder and that you have always been in good standing (no amounts needed).

As a guideline, the amount of about $ 6,000 should be available to the student on an annual basis (excluding tuition).

9. An attestation from an academic institution, certifying that the applicant is accepted and/or registered as a regular, full-time student or research student. For Fullbright and BAEF scholars, a letter from the sponsoring organization is required.

10. A pre-paid envelope if you wish to have your passport and visa sent back to your home address. The embassy or Consulate General is not responsible for lost items during shipping.

11. Visa application fee (this price includes consular taxes and handling fees): click Here.

The visa application fee is non-refundable, whether your visa is actually issued or not.

Please refer to the following table for payment options:

cash Certified
Embassy in Washington Yes Yes Yes Yes
Consulate general in NY No Yes Yes No
Consulate general in LA Yes Yes Yes No
Consulate general in Atlanta Yes Yes Yes No

Personal checks are not accepted.
Cash payments: exact change please and pay in person, not by mail.
Certified checks and money orders have to be paid to the order of:
• "the Embassy of Belgium in Washington" if you apply at the Embassy in Washington
• "the Consulate General of Belgium" if you apply at the Consulate General in Atlanta, Los Angeles or New York.
Incorrect money orders or certified checks will be rejected and returned to the applicant. Processing will only begin once the proper payment is received.

Only at the Embassy in Washington may you pay with Visa or MasterCard. In New York you can only pay with a money order or certified check.

A personal appearance is required and you must apply in person at the Embassy or Consulate General in whose jurisdiction you reside.

If you wish to make the application by mail (this is possible at the consulates in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, but not at the Embassy in Washington, DC), the following requirements apply:
(1) your signature on the application form must be notarized (certified) by a notary public of your place of residence in the U.S.

(2) do not send your application documents to an Honorary Consul. The application will be processed by the Embassy or by a Consulate General. Always make sure you mail your application to the competent Embassy or Consulate General.  Only the Honorary Consuls in Nassau (Bahamas) and San Juan (Porto Rico) may accept visa-applications and they will send them to the Embassy..

After verification of your application, a personal appearance will still be necessary to collect your passport with the visa.

Please request your student visa at least three weeks prior to your intended departure date The normal processing time for this type of visa is one week. For non US citizens, the processing time may be considerably longer.

Married students:

For your dependent family members (also 1 original with one copy and an extra set of originals for use in Belgium):

A complete application package as stated above, and in addition:

- For your spouse : the birth certificate and the marriage certificate (not older than 6 months) with an apostille, a medical certificate and an FBI background check.

- For the children : the birth certificates with an apostille and a medical certificate.

- Proof of lodging for the whole family: please make arrangements to obtain accommodations prior to your intended departure (the International Student Office of the university in question may be able to assist you).

- Proof that the principal visa applicant is authorized to reside in Belgium (copy of registration at a university)

If the spouse and/or children are not US citizens, please contact the consular office for further instructions.

You will need translations (in French or Dutch) of the US birth certificates and marriage certificates to register in the commune where you will reside.



If you wish to apply for a student visa for academic year / , your application will have to be processed before November 15, . For current and up-to-date instructions for the coming year, please contact the appropriate consular office in April or May of each year.

Also, applications by students enrolled in an educational institute not recognized by the Belgian state have to be referred to the appropriate Belgian authorities for processing.  Certain restrictions apply and the processing time will be much longer than the indicated four weeks.

We strongly advise to apply 6 to 8 weeks prior to departure if you will attend a non-accredited institution.

In case you will attend an accredited school please request your student visa at least three weeks prior to your intended departure date.  The normal processing time for this type of visa is one week.  For non US citizens, the processing time may be considerably longer.


It is important that you register yourself and your family at the local City Hall within 8 days of your arrival. The local authorities will provide you (and your family members) with an identity document for a foreign student temporarily living in Belgium. This document will allow you to enter and leave the country. This document will also show the exact duration of stay.



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