Do you need a visa to travel to Belgium?
The short answer is maybe, depending on where you're from. Belgium is part of the Schengen Area – the world's largest visa-free zone made up of 26 European countries – and nationals from Schengen countries can move freely within the zone without a visa. There are no border checks, but if you're a Schengen citizen you should always carry a passport or national identity card to prove where you're from if necessary.
What are the 26 Schengen Area countries?
Below are the countries in the Schengen Area:
Visa-free travel for non-Schengen and non-EU nationals
Belgium has visa-free travel agreements with over 50 non-Schengen and non-EU countries including Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, the United States, Japan, the UK and Canada. Nationals from these countries do not need a visa to travel to Belgium (or anywhere else in the Schengen zone) for stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period for tourism, business travel or transit purposes. However, they will need a valid passport to present to immigration officers upon arrival and must also meet several other requirements (we'll get to this shortly).
It’s important to check that your trip will not exceed the 90-day period if you have traveled to other Schengen countries within the last six months – if so, you’ll need to apply for a visa before you travel or you may be fined or banned from entering the Schengen Area. If you plan on staying for longer than 90 days or you want to work, you will need to apply for the relevant visa.
Which countries need a Schengen visa to enter Belgium?
Passport holders from over 100 countries will need to apply for a Schengen visa including Bolivia, Cambodia, Jordan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. We recommend getting in touch with your nearest embassy or high commission for the latest advice on Schengen visa requirements. And remember – visa and entry requirements can change at any time, so it's always best to check for the latest information before you set off.
Belgium entry requirements for non-Schengen / EU nationals
If you are a non-Schengen or EU national, you'll need to clear immigration upon arrival and must meet the following requirements:
- Hold a valid passport that was issued less than 10 years prior to the date of travel and is valid for three months after you depart
- Have confirmation of onward or return travel plans, such as a flight or train ticket
- Show proof that you have enough money in your account to support yourself while you’re in Belgium
When you enter or leave Belgium, border control officers will stamp your passport and check to make sure you haven’t overstayed your time in the Schengen zone. Always make sure your passport has been stamped or else immigration officers might think you have overstayed your visa or visa-free period. It’s always handy to keep records of your return/onward travel tickets or boarding passes for this reason.
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