Less than 90 days

Typical reasons for such a stay are visiting family or friends, a tourist visit, a transit through the Schengen area, a business visit, sports and culture, short traineeship or a medical treatment. 

Before arriving
Before arriving in Brussels, make sure to obtain a Schengen VISA (or C VISA) at the Belgian embassy in your country. Nationals of certain countries do not need to present a C VISA. Click here to have access to the list of third countries whose nationals are subjected to a visa procedure.

The status of non-EU nationals residing for a short period in one of the Schengen countries is determined by the international Schengen Agreement between a number of EU-states. In practice, the agreement means that the holder of a Schengen visa, issued by a Schengen country, can travel without restrictions through all Schengen countries.

To obtain a C VISA consult the following websites :

Non EU family member of an EU citizen

  • Family member of an EU citizen holder of a valid residence permit issued by a member state of the European Union are exempted from a C visa.
  • Family members of an EU citizen can enter Belgium with a C VISA, whatever is the purpose and the duration of the stay, if they fall under the Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.
  • This type of C visa is free and is issued quickly (15 days in principle).
  • To benefit from this procedure you must justify that you fall under the Directive and produce the necessary documents.

More details here.

Schengen VISA

A Schengen visa or C visa enables all citizens to travel freely within the countries of the so called Schengen zone. It is granted in the form of a sticker affixed on a passport.  Entry will only be granted if the other conditions laid down by the Schengen Convention are met, such as the purpose and the conditions of the trip and the possession of sufficient funds.

Different types of Schengen Visa are existing :

  • Transit visa allowing travellers going from one non-Schengen country to another non –Schengen country to pass through the territories of the Schengen area member States.
  • Single-entry visa allowing one uninterrupted stay for a limited period with a maximum duration of 90 days.
  • Multiple-entry visa allowing several stays within the Schengen area, provided that the total length of the visits does not exceed 90 days in any 180 day period.

More details here.

Short-stay calculator

Since 2013 the concept of “short-stay” has been precised. The maximum duration of authorized stay is defined as “90 days in any 180-day period” The date of entry shall be considered as the first day of stay on the territory of the Member States and the exit date shall be considered as the last day on the territory of the Member States. Periods of stay authorized under a residence permit or a long-stay visa shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the duration of stay on the territory of the Schengen area.

Use the Schengen calculator to count the travel days remaining under a Schengen short-stay visa.

More details here.

Declaration of arrival

If you are not staying in a hotel, hospital, boarding house or prison, you will have to report to the municipality within 3 days of your arrival taking along:

  • Your valid passport
  • Your C VISA  if required according the list hereunder.

Based on your nationality you will automatically receive an “appendix 3” (declaration of arrival), which is the document that proves your presence on the territory but is not a residence permit. This document will be valid for the period of your stay or for a maximum of three months. The Immigration Office may grant an extension to the stay if the foreigner proves, with documents, the existence of serious personal reasons justifying the extension of the stay, or force majeure or humanitarian reasons preventing him/her from leaving the territory of the Schengen states. The application for an extension of stay must be submitted to the municipal administration of the place of residence with the relevant documents.