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Studying in Belgium

Processing time of a visa application for studies

It is recommended that the student applies for a visa as soon as possible and ideally before Friday 30 July 2021.

According to Article 34 of Directive 2016/801, the decision must be taken at the latest within 90 days from the date of submission of the complete request. Although this deadline is not yet written into the Act of 15 December 1980, the Immigration Office is doing its utmost to make its decision within the deadline set out in the Directive.

As the deadline for enrolment in all higher education institutions is 31 October, a complete visa application should therefore be submitted ideally before 30 July 2021.

Given the large volume of visa applications to be processed in a short period of time, the Immigration Office cannot guarantee that a decision will be made on a date that will allow the student applicant who has submitted his or her visa application after 30 July 2021, to travel to Belgium and enrol in a higher education institution before the weekend of 30 & 31 October 2021.

Context

In Belgium, the Communities are responsible for taking decisions on services for individuals, such as education. The Flemish Community is therefore responsible for education in the Dutch-speaking part of the country whilst the French Community is the competent authority for the French-speaking part of Belgium, and the German-speaking Community for education in German.

Entry requirements for Belgium

If you are a national from a non-European Union country, you may need a visa to enter Belgian territory. For questions regarding visa and related matters, you should contact the Belgian embassy or Belgian consulate in your country or a neighbouring country.

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

Once you have arrived in Belgium, details of your country's embassy or consulate may also be useful.

Grants

The Development Cooperation subsite lists all official bodies which offer grants in Belgium.

Accommodation

Many schools and universities have rooms available for students or provide lists of rooms which are available to rent locally. As such, it is advisable to contact your educational establishment to find out this information.

Education in the Flemish Community

You will find a comprehensive overview of all possibilities on the website Studying in Flanders.

Higher Education in Flanders is a brochure in pdf format. This brochure lists and explains the various degrees and diplomas which can be obtained from Flemish educational establishments. It also provides information on the range of study options in Flanders. The brochure gives a comprehensive overview of higher education establishments and financial information on all types of courses (e.g. grants).

The NARIC website and ENIC-NARIC website inform you whether your foreign diploma receives the same recognition in the Flemish Community as in your own country.

Education in the French Community

You will find a comprehensive overview of all possibilities on the website Study in Belgium.

On the website Venir étudier en Belgique you can find an overview of opportunities for studying in French-speaking Belgium.

The Service Equivalences deals with the equivalence of foreign primary and secondary education certificates. To find out if your university degree receives the same recognition in the French Community as in the country where you obtained, you can visit the website of the French Community.

Allocation d’études provides useful information on how to submit an application for a student grant or student loan.

Education in the German-speaking Community

On the website of the German-speaking Community, you can find an overview of opportunities for studying in German-speaking Belgium.

Other interesting links