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Home » Belgium Transit Visa – Eligibility, Application, Processing Time

Belgium Transit Visa – Eligibility, Application, Processing Time

In a situation where you need to book a flight and you’re told you will need to make a quick stop at Belgium for any reason before continuing your journey, what then do you do? Get a Belgium visa so you do not get arrested for illegal entry? No, that sounds incredibly expensive, and stressful too. It is for cases like these that the Belgium Transit Visa exists.

This article aims to cover everything you need to know about a Belgian transit visa; how to get one, who needs it and who doesn’t, its limitations, and what documents you need to be able to get one.

What is a Belgium Transit Visa?

A Belgium transit visa is a document that allows you to stop over at Belgium for a short while when travelling. There are two kinds of visas in this category; the Belgium Airport Transit Visa and the Seafarers transit visa. As their names suggest, the Airport transit visa allows a traveler to stay in the international area of Belgian airports while waiting to switch flights. On the other hand, a Seafarer’s transit visa allows you to stay in the Schengen seaports in Belgium (even outside of your ship) while you switch ships or wait for your ship to reload and set sail again.

What kind of Belgium transit visa you apply for depends on the kind of transport you intend to make use of; to go by air, you must apply for the airport transit visa, while to go by sea, you must apply for the seafarers’ transit visa. It’s important to note that transit visas do not allow you roam freely in the country. They restrict you to certain areas for a given period, hence, you are not to leave those areas. To wit; Airport Transit Visa holders can only stay in the international area of the airport for 24 hours, while Seafarers Transit Visa holders can only stay at the Schengen seaports for 5 days.

Who is Eligible Belgium Transit Visa?

Anyone who can get a Belgium national visa can get a Belgium transit visa. However, the real question becomes; who needs a Belgium transit visa? Like all Like with the Belgium Schengen visa, foreign nationals from Schengen Area states and countries with free-travel agreements with Schengen are allowed to come in without a visa. This is, however, provided they haven’t broken the 90/180 rule.

The 90/180 rule allows foreign nationals from Schengen Area to travel freely among member states without a visa, provided they do not stay beyond 90 days out of every 180.

On the other hand, when traveling to countries within the Schengen free-travel area, only a handful of countries need a transit visa to be able to enter the international travel area. Such countries include;

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Dominican Republic
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinians
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen

However, there are certain conditions that could lead to you being exempt from the visa, even if your country falls in the list above. Some such conditions include;

  1. You happen to possess a visa from any of the Schengen Area countries, the EU, EEA, EFTA, or Canada, Japan, the UK, the United States, or any of the countries with a free-travel agreement with the Schengen area.
  2. Your family member is a citizen of any of the EU, EEA, EFTA, or Switzerland.
  3. You possess a diplomatic travel document.
  4. Finally, if you are a flight attendant or an air transport employee on the job, contracted to aid travel to the Chicago Convention or International Civil Aviation.

Belgium Transit Visa Requirements

When you apply for a visa, there are always documents you will need to submit before the embassy approves your visa. These documents will serve to inform them of your (relevant) history, what value you could add to their country, and help them generally assess if they can let you in or not. The Belgium transit visa is no different.

While there are certain requirements unique to each kind of transit visa, they have more in common than not. To wit;

#1. Visa Application Form

The first, most important document you need to procure to begin your application is, of course, the application form. This form will need you to input a lot of your travel data, ranging from your reason for going to the kind of visa you’re applying for. You must fill this form as clearly as possible, therefore, it is advisable that you use block letters to make it more legible.

#2. Passport-sized Photographs

Next on the list should be two recent passport-sized photographs. These pictures must follow the Schengen visa passport specifications in terms of colour, size, background, dimensions, etc.

#3.  Valid National Passport

Your national passport is an identity document your country issues to you. It is the primary means of identifying as a native of your country in a foreign country. For your national passport to be considered valid, it must be less than 10 years old, have two blank pages available, and be valid for up to 3 months beyond when you plan to leave the Belgium airport.

#4. Schengen Travel Insurance

One of the biggest requirements when you’re travelling to/through the Schengen area is the Schengen travel health insurance. This insurance covers any health emergencies that might occur during your trip or your stay in the area. Sure enough, it is a requirement for the Belgium transit visa.

Your Schengen travel health insurance must cover at least €30,000 worth of health emergencies for it to be accepted.

#5. Proof of Payment

Of course, when you want to submit your application, you must present a receipt of payment of the application fee. The Belgium transit visa costs €80.

Additional Requirements for Air Transit Visa

The only unique requirement for those looking to get a Belgium Airport Transit Visa is an itinerary. You will need to inform the embassy of your full flight plans; i.e., how long you will be in the airport at Belgium, when your next flight will take off to your final destination, and of course, flight tickets for that as well.

Additional Requirements for Seafarers Transit Visa

A seafarer is one who works in any kind of marine vessel and is wont to travel the seas. The Belgium Seafarers Transit Visa has about 3 additional requirements, seeing as the sea travel rules differ a little from air travel. The three additional requirements for seafarers are;

  1. Letter from Shipping Company: This aim of this letter is to verify that the ship you intend to board will, for a fact, dock at a Schengen Seaport in Belgium. It will also specify which exact seaport you will be docking.
  2. Employment Contract: Your employment contract shows the embassy that you truly are an employee of the shipping company. If you do not have an employment contract, request that your company give you one.
  3. Seaman’s Book: You will need to present the original and a photocopy of your Seaman’s book; a document that shows how often you have travelled by sea and what experience you may have.

Application Procedure for Belgium Transit Visa

Applying for a Belgium transit visa is a fairly easy process. As long as you can prove that you’re not staying in the country beyond the transit time allotted, and that you have plans to leave once it expires, it should be a straight road to getting your visa.

If you are a citizen of one of the countries who need a transit visa to switch flights or dock ships in Belgium, here are the steps to applying for your transit visa;

  1. Gather all the documents required as specified above.
  2. Contact the Belgian embassy, consulate, or visa application centre in your country. Schedule an interview appointment with them.
  3. Attend the interview on the agreed date with all the required documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is the Belgium Transit Visa?

The Belgium transit visa fee is €80. However, here is a list of all our other Belgium Visa fees.

How long does it take to get my Belgium Transit Visa?

Ordinarily, the Belgium transit visa should not take more than 2 weeks (14 working days) to process. However, in certain cases, it can take as long as 30 working days. Therefore, it is advisable that you begin the application process 2 – 3 months beforehand.

Do I need a visa for a connecting flight Brussels?

The answer to this question depends on a few factors. If you’re a foreign national from one of the Schengen countries, EU, EFTA, or any of the countries with a visa-free agreement with Schengen, you do not need a visa. However, if you do not fall into the category above, and wish to stop over at Brussels before heading to your final destination, you need only get a Belgium Transit Visa.

Finally, if you wish to stop at Brussels before/after stopping at another Belgian airport (or any other airport within the Schengen area) before heading to your final destination, you will need more than just a transit visa. You will need a Schengen Visa.

Do I need a COVID test to transit in Belgium?

Yes, absolutely. Before you transit through Belgium with a transit visa, you must present a COVID test result showing you are negative. This ensures you do not pose a medical threat to the Belgians.

Do UK Citizens need a visa to transit through Belgium?

No. Despite the Brexit, UK still holds a visa-free travel agreement with Schengen and her citizens, visa holders, and passport holders can travel through the Schengen area (including Belgium) without need for a Belgian visa.


The Belgium transit visa is an easier, less stressful option for people who do not wish to spend time in Belgium. It is an easier alternative to the Schengen visa for those who are merely passing through. If you need to switch flight or disembark ship for a few days in Belgium, this is the option for you.

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