FAQ: Impact of COVID-19
Q: Am I allowed to travel to Belgium under the current travel restrictions? Do I need any specific certificate/authorization?
Q: Do I need to fill in the Passenger Locator form before traveling to Belgium? Do I need to do a PCR-test/quarantine after traveling to Belgium?
A: All information can be found on our homepage, our visa pages, as well as the following pages on the website of the Belgian Immigration Office: Travel to Belgium.
Q: I received a visa before the travel restrictions came into force. Can I still use the same visa?
A: If the visa is still valid, Yes. If your visa is expired, you will need to apply for a completely new visa, and you will be required to present all the documents necessary, and pay the visa handling fees, where applicable.
Q: Before the travel restrictions, I got a certificate of criminal record/medical certificate /KOSEKITOHON, etc., in preparation for my visa application, but the validity of the document is now expired (later than 6 months after the document was issued). Do I have to get a new certificate, or is there another option?
- Kosekitohon and court verdict: Documents that expired after 18 March 2020 can still be accepted.
- All other documents (certificate of criminal record, medical certificate, certificate, and letters issued by companies, etc.): Documents that are beyond their period of validity are not accepted. A new document is necessary.
Q: I received a work permit and single permit approval (annex 46) before/during the travel restriction period, but because of the entry ban I was unable to apply for a Long Stay Visa (D). When the ban is lifted, can I apply with the same documents, or do I need to get new ones?
- If your work permit (the document that states where you will work, and how long your permit is valid – this is the document that is sent in addition to the annex 46) has more than 3 months of validity left, you can still apply for a D Visa. If there are less than 3 months left on your work permit, you cannot apply for a D Visa. In that case, please ask your employer in Belgium to contact the regional government that issued your work permit.
- Single Permit (annex 46): The validity of annex 46 is exactly 6 months. If more than 6 months have passed since the issuance of your annex 46, you can still apply for a D visa, but your application file will be sent to the Belgian Immigration Office. Only after a positive decision has been made by the Immigration Office, the visa can be issued.
Q: I received a work permit/Single Permit approval (annex 46) before/during the travel restrictions, but my company has decided to postpone my work abroad to a later time. Do I need to apply for a new Single Permit?
A: Please first check the expiry date mentioned on the work permit document you received from the Belgian competent regional government. As long as the work permit is valid for more than 3 months on the date of visa filing at the visa counter, you can apply for a visa D with the same documents. If not, you need to re-start the process from the first stage.
3. RE-ENTRY TO BELGIUM
Q: I left Belgium and came back to Japan before I was able to get registered at the municipal office. Can I use the same D visa to enter Belgium again?
A: In principle, yes, but only if the visa is still valid (please verify the validity date on the visa sticker). If the period of validity of visa D expires before the planned trip can be made, a new visa is necessary.
For the registration as a resident, please confirm with the municipal office of your intended place of residence in Belgium.
Q: I came back to Japan after the Covid-19 pandemic started. In the meantime, my resident card (residence permit) has expired. What should I do?
A: You need to apply for a D Visa again.
Q: Before the pandemic, I was set to go study abroad at a Belgian university. The admission letter I received states that courses started on 30 September 2020. That date is now in the past. Can I still apply for a Long Stay Visa (D) for Studies with the same admission letter?
A: Due to the circumstances, the registration deadline has been extended until the end of October 2020.
5. SHORT STAY VISA (C)
Q: I received a Short Stay Visa before the pandemic started, but was unable to go to Belgium. Now that the pandemic is over, I would like to go.
Do I need to apply for the visa again?
A: If the period of validity of the visa issued for the postponed trip is insufficient to cover the duration of the new trip, a new visa may be requested on presentation of the following documents:
- Visa application form indicating the new travel dates + 2 photos ( link of VOW and VOW + e-appointment guidance + ICAO to be added)
- Proof of payment of the handling fee
- Copy of the passport with the visa issued for the postponed trip
- Proof of the arrangements made for the new trip (e.g. new date set for the conference or professional meeting, new invitation, etc.), and
- Travel health insurance covering the duration of the proposed new trip.
Do I need to pay again?
A: Yes, since it is a new visa application file.
Q: The conference/seminar/business meeting that I was supposed to attend in Belgium was postponed because of the pandemic. Can I apply with the invitation letter that states the original dates, or do I need to get a new invitation letter?
A: A new invitation letter is required.