How To Get A Student Visa In Belgium (FAQs) | 20228 min read

Student Visa In Belgium: Belgium is one of the best study destinations for international students in Europe. Despite its small population, this European country has several world-class tertiary institutions. 

However, a study visa is needed to study in Belgium as an international student.

And this article will tell you how to get one and some tips that will enable an international student to obtain a Belgian student visa quickly.

Also, it will provide several benefits available to students studying in Belgium.

Student Visa In Belgium

Most Compelling Reasons For Studying In Belgium

For the following reasons, Belgium is an excellent international study destination in Europe:

1. Belgium offers an opportunity for an international career 

Studying in Belgium could land a job in an international organization or body. This is because this nation, particularly the capital city of Brussels, is home to the headquarters of many international organizations. 

Studying in Belgium will allow you to meet and network with officials from these organizations regularly if you want to work for international organizations such as NATO, the EU, the Eurozone, or the World Trade Organization. With their help, you can achieve your goals.

2. Belgium is an innovation hub

Belgium is the bedrock of innovation, spanning many sectors. People know that this country is always coming up with new ideas in technology, fashion, and many others. 

Belgium is widely respected worldwide for its contributions to the e-commerce sector. Furthermore, many new businesses have thrived in Belgium because citizens are not afraid to embrace new ideas. 

Studying in Belgium could change the way you think and help you become an innovator in your field, putting you in the spotlight.

3. Belgium is home to many top-class schools

It is good to get a student visa in Belgium because Belgium is an excellent destination for studying in Europe.

Most schools in Belgium are recognized worldwide, so you won’t be at a disadvantage when using their certificates to apply for a job, scholarship, or graduate program. 

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Moreover, Belgian colleges have faculty members drawn from several countries worldwide, and they partner with many centers on research activities. 

Belgian colleges put a lot of emphasis on working as a team, and they introduce their students to professional networks in their field, which helps them learn more.

4. Belgium offers you an opportunity to learn other languages

One of the most exciting things about studying in Belgium is that it offers you an opportunity to learn many languages. 

Although English is the country’s most popular language, studying in Belgium will allow you to learn languages like German, French, and Dutch, which are widely spoken in Europe. 

Speaking up to three European languages is entertaining and can help you converse when visiting countries that speak the language you learned. It will also strengthen your credentials and put you in pole position when applying for foreign jobs.

5. Belgium has an environment that is friendly toward international student

Belgium is a diverse country that respects the rights of international students from all countries. 

As an international student in Belgium, you do not have any reason to worry about coming under attack just because you are not from the nation.

Moreover, the government pays particular attention to international students and does everything possible to ensure they are comfortable. 

For instance, the Belgian government and several organizations within the country even offer scholarships and grants to international students to support their education. 

In addition, international students can afford to attend many tertiary institutions in Belgium, which is not the case in most European countries. 

The cost of living in Belgium is also lower than in most European countries, even though the standard of living there is high.

Types Of Student Visas In Belgium

To study in Belgium as an international student, you will require a visa and a residence permit.

However, this does not apply to you if you are from a country that is a member of the EU/EEA or if you are from Switzerland. 

Moreover, as a non-EU/EEA student, the number of years that you intend to spend studying in Belgium is a factor that will determine the type of visa that you will need. 

Students outside the EU/EAA who want to study in Belgium for at least 90 days must get a short-stay visa. 

On the other hand, students who want to study in Belgium for more than 90 days must get a long-stay visa and a residence permit.

Study Opportunities In Each Belgian Community

Belgium adopts a federal state structure and is divided into three communities:

  • Flanders, the Flemish community where Dutch is mostly spoken.
  • Wallonia, the French community where French is mostly spoken.
  • The German Community, where German is mostly spoken.
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However, it is essential to note that international students have different rules in every federal state. 

Also, Chinese students who want to study at any college in Belgium or get a student visa must get a permit from the Academic Evaluation Centre (APS) of the German Embassy in Beijing.

How To Apply For A Student Visa In Belgium

To study in Belgium, you must acquire a visa at the native Belgium embassy or consulate in the country of residence. 

If you want to study in Belgium with a long-stay visa and residence permit, you should visit the embassy at least two months before you leave. 

On the other hand, if you want to study in Belgium with a short-stay visa, you should visit the embassy at least three weeks before you leave.

Requirements For Student Visas In Belgium

To get a short-stay or long-stay education visa for Belgium, a person must meet the following conditions:

  • A passport that is not more than three months old.
  • A visa application fee of 70 EUR for a short-stay visa and 210 EUR for a long-stay visa.
  • Two original completed visa application forms.
  • An original copy and two photocopies of the acceptance letter from a university in Belgium
  • Photocopies of academic certificates.
  • A record of good behavior for those that are more than 21 years of age (including fingerprints).
  • A medical record.
  • A cover or motivation letter.
  • Proof that they have enough money to pay for their education, housing, and basic needs for an entire academic year (670 EUR/month).

However, the embassy will always ask you to bring some additional documents if needed.

Language Requirements For Studying In Belgium

Anyone seeking to study in Belgium must present proof that they possess an in-depth ability to speak and write the language in which the program they choose will be taught. 

But people from countries where their program is taught in their native language or who have already finished a program in a language similar to the one they will be taught in are not expected to meet the language requirement.

Here are the language requirements:

  • English-TOEFL or IELTS
  • Dutch-Dutch NT2-II diploma
  • French-DELF or DALF
  • German-DSH or TestDaF

How To Apply For A Work Permit In Belgium

To study and work in Belgium, you must obtain the Belgian work permit C, which was created for this purpose. 

This application is made at the regional employment agencies in Belgium.

Belgium allows international students enrolled in a program at any Belgian school and possess a legal residence permit to work for at most 20 hours every week, excluding school holidays, since work does not interfere with their education. 

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However, interested students must obtain a written fixed-term contract from their employer, popularly called the “student employment contract.” 

Moreover, this permit is not required to work on holidays.

How To Obtain A Residence Permit In Belgium

Any international student seeking a residence permit in Belgium must visit the local municipal administration office to apply for a residence permit within eight working days from the day they set foot in Belgium. 

A residence permit will enable an international student to open a bank account, apply for a work permit, and obtain insurance. 

However, an international student can request a residence permit at their school.

Frequently Asked Questions on Student Visa In Belgium

Can you work with a student visa in Belgium?

During the school year, you can work 20 hours a week in Belgium as an international student, but only if it doesn’t get in the way of your studies. More so, you will need a type C work permit and a written fixed-term contract from your employer.

Is Belgium visa easy to get?

Belgium has the most applications turned down, at 16.9%, which is the highest rate in the Schengen Area. However, this means that 83.1% of people who apply still get a Schengen Visa.

Is IELTS required for Belgium student visa?

Both the TOEFL and the IELTS are accepted, but the minimum score necessary varies by school. The minimum required score varies between schools.

How long does it take to process Belgium visa?

In most cases, it can take up to 15 days for a Schengen visa application from Belgium to be processed. For example, if there are too many people who want to apply, the process could take up to 30 days.

Conclusion

Belgium remains one of the ideal study destinations in the world. Moreover, getting a student visa in Belgium is not stressful because this European nation has easy-to-meet visa requirements. 

But you can increase your chances of getting a student visa in Belgium if you make an appointment with the embassy a few weeks before you want to leave and bring all the documents listed in this article to the appointment.

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