Travel to Belgium

All information for those wishing to come to Belgium.

Visa for Belgium

All information on applying for a visa to Belgium.
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Schengen visas for third-country nationals living in Bulgaria after 31/03/2024

Following the Council decision (EU) 2024/210 on the full application of the Schengen acquis in Bulgaria and Romania of 30 December 2023, the principles hereinafter currently apply:

  • checks on persons at internal air and sea borders (airports and seaports) with Bulgaria are lifted; checks at land borders remain in place until a further decision of the Council of the EU;
  • valid Bulgarian residence permits and national long-stay visas allow visa-free short stay travel in the Schengen area (up to 90 days in any 180-day period);
  • subsidiary protection passports/travel documents issued by Bulgaria, in combination with a valid Bulgarian residence permit, allow for visa-free short stay travel in the Schengen area (up to 90 days in any 180-day period);
  • short stays of third country nationals in Bulgaria count towards the 90-day short stay limit in the Schengen area.

We remind you that third-country nationals must meet the entry requirements set out in Article 6 of the Schengen Borders Code.

We recommend you to check the situation and possible guidelines/communications issued by Bulgarian authorities in the meantime.

Visa application process

Lists of required documents and payment modalities can be found below.

In order to apply for visa at the Embassy of Belgium in Sofia, applicants must follow the following steps:

1. Identification of the type of visa to be applied for: please check the website of the Immigration Office of the FPS Home Affairs; it is your responsibility to determine which visa precisely to apply for. In case this is not correct, it will not be changed by the Embassy when you submit your visa application. Special attention must be paid to the following points/distinctions:

  • Distinction is to be made between the different grounds for family reunification (the parent/spouse in Belgium has Belgian nationality, is an UE national, is a third-state national with a limited/unlimited right to stay in Belgium);
  • Children who are 18 years old or more and who wish to join their non Belgian parent(s) living in Belgium must apply for a humanitarian visa and not for family reunification;
  • Distinction between work visa based on a single permit decision (work contract) and work visa based on a professional card (self-employed);
  • For students, it is important to make the distinction between studies in public institutions and studies in private institutions. It is also important to check if it is about regular studies, or studies in an European mobility framework or in the framework of an exchange.
  • Aged parents who wish to join their adult child in Belgium must apply for a humanitarian visa.

2. Your visa application must first be submitted online, via Visa On Web; once you fill it in, please print it out. The printed version will have to be submitted during the appointment at the Embassy of Belgium in Sofia along with the other documents listed in the procedures.

3. Date of appointment : after filling in your online application form, you have the possibility to choose online a date for appointment at the Embassy of Belgium in Sofia, so you can come and submit your application in person. Coming in person at the Embassy of Belgium in Sofia is mandatory. A separate appointment per each and every applicant is to be booked, regardless of the applicant’s age.

4. The payment of the handling fee must be done well in advance before the date of the appointment. The Embassy of Belgium in Sofia recommends this payment to be made at least 5 working days before the appointment. Visa applications will not be registered if the payment is not visible in the bank account of the Embassy. In such a case, you will have to reschedule and come back another day.

5. On the day of appointment:

  • You will have to be on time.
  • You are requested to submit your application, together with all the requested documents (see lists of documents per type of visas in the next section). Respecting the order of presentation of the documents, as well as their nature (original/copy) and the number of copies is important. Copies must immediately follow the originals.
  • If you do not submit the right number of requested copies, a new appointment might have to be made in order for you to submit your application.
  • We thank you in advance for submitting an application which is complete, with all the requested documents.
  • Additional documents may always be requested at a later stage by.
  • The filing of your application at the Embassy has to be done in French, Dutch, English or Bulgarian. The applicant who wishes to speak in Albanian will have to request the assistance of an interpreter who is accredited by the Embassy (see list of accredited interpreters in the next section). Interpreters who are not mentioned on the attached list will not be accepted. The applicant will have to agree with him/her about the details and modalities of his/her intervention (costs, date and time, payment modalities, including overtime). The Embassy of Belgium in Sofia cannot be held accountable for these arrangements.

6. After the registration of your application on the day of the appointment, it will be processed by the visa section at the Embassy. Some applications will be referred to the Immigration Office in Brussels, in accordance with the applicable rules. Information on the follow-up of a visa application is available on the website of the Immigration Office: Follow up a visa application | IBZ. Please do not contact the Embassy to enquire about the status of your application. You will be notified as soon as a decision is made on your application.

The Embassy of Belgium in Sofia does not issue visa the same day of the appointment, except for work visa based on a single permit, as long as technical conditions, merits of the case and availability of the Embassy personnel allow for issuance on the same day. The Embassy cannot be held liable in case issuance on the same day is not possible.

Competent authority for visa related matters

All the information concerning visa applications for Belgium is available on the website of the Immigration Office of the FPS Home Affairs, which is the competent Belgian authority for access to the territory, stay, residence and return of foreigners in Belgium.

Visa applicants must therefore refer first to this website for conditions to be fulfilled and documents to be provided in visa related matters.

In case the information you are looking for is not available or in case of urgency, do not hesitate to contact the Embassy of Belgium in Sofia via email (

For long-term stays in Belgium (studies, family reunification, etc.), nationals of Albania, Kosovo and North Macedonia must obtain visas (visa D) from the Embassy of Belgium in Sofia.

The Embassy of Belgium in Sofia also issues long-stay (D) visas to third-states nationals living in Bulgaria and who need a visa to go to Belgium.