A visa should be applied for at the Belgian Embassy or Consulate in the home country well in advance.
You can check on the following website http://www.diplomatie.be/en/travel/visa/default.asp whether you need a visa to come to Belgium.
Although procedures and documents may vary from country to country, you definitely need an official invitation letter from Hasselt University. You will receive this invitation letter as soon as possible after admission.
There are three types of visa for Europe:
- Visa C for stays of up to 3 months
- Visa D for stays longer than 3 months
- The scientific visa for researchers who come to work (not study) in Belgium
Please note that visa applications are the responsibility of the incoming student or guest.
Visa C or Schengen visa for stays less than 3 months
Certain European countries have entered into an agreement regarding the opening of their borders to international visitors. In effect, a new type of visa - the Schengen Visa - has been introduced by the member countries. This visa covers a short-stay period of a maximum of 90 days (three months) within a six-month period and allows the holder to travel freely between all the Schengen member states. The Schengen Visa is also referred to as Visa Type C.
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland plus the newest member states: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
- If you intend to visit only one Schengen country, you must apply at the Consulate or Embassy of that particular country.
- If you intend to visit several Schengen countries, you must apply at the Consulate or Embassy of the country which is your main destination.
- If you intend to visit several Schengen countries but do not have a main destination, you must apply at the Consulate or Embassy of the country which is your first point of entry.
- If you do not need a visa for the Schengen country which is your main destination or first point of entry, note that you may be required to have a visa for other Schengen countries you wish to visit. You should therefore apply at the Consulate or Embassy of the first Schengen country which does require you to have a visa.
Countries that do not require a visa to enter Belgium for a short period of up to three months
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Estonia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea (South), Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, the United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela
However, always check at http://www.diplomatie.be/en/travel/visa/default.asp
Visa D or Authorisation for Provisional Sojourn for stays longer than 3 months
This particular type of visa (in Dutch: Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) allows the holder to stay in Belgium for a period longer than three months. This visa is also referred to as Visa Type D. For non-EEA Students, the Authorisation for Provisional Sojourn is also commonly known as the ‘Student Visa’.
As a rule, students must apply for this visa at the Belgian Consulate or Embassy in their own country or in the country where they legally reside, and not from the public authorities in Belgium itself. If there is no Belgian Consulate or Embassy in their home country, they may submit their application at the Belgian Consulate or Embassy in a neighbouring country.
Non-EEA researchers and visiting professors are also required to apply for the Authorisation for Provisional Sojourn in order to enter and stay in Belgium for a period longer than three months. They may therefore apply for a so-called scientific visa.ATTENTION: non-EEA students should not enter Belgium with a tourist visa if they intend to stay longer than 90 days or three months. The University will not support an application for a change of status or visa.
Fee for visa applications
In March 2015 a new visa fee of €160 or €215 was set by the Belgian Federal Government. Typically, Master's and PhD-students pay €160. If you come to UHasselt with a so-called Host Agreement, you will need to pay €215.
Students, carrying a scholarship issued by a Belgian Authority (e.g. VLIR or one the universities) are exempt from this tax.
You can find full details (including the payment procedure) in this document.
Need for 'Proof of Solvency'
All students/guests who need proof of solvency are referred to this document, which describes the full procedure.