If you’re thinking of studying in Belgium, it’s a beautiful country with world-renowned universities of quality which offers subsidized tuition fees estimated to be about €4,175 for international students, a multicultural/multilingual population, fabulous cuisines, fantastic countryside and cities.
As a Nigerian international student, you’ll need a study visa and international passport to legally study and live in Belgium during your course or programme duration. This is how to apply for your Belgium study visa, processes involved and the necessary documents required for your visa application.
Note that your first eligibility criteria are provisional admission letter into a Belgium institution, sufficient financial support throughout your study, police character certification and a suitable health insurance policy to cover health costs.
To read up on our article on a list of the best schools in Belgium, and admission application processes, you can click here
The Belgium student visa available for study is the National long stay visa (D visa) which allows stay duration of more than 90 days. The D visa is quite similar to a residence permit card with regard to free movement on the SCHENGEN territory. Notably, you are allowed to travel throughout the Schengen region for a total period not exceeding 3 months in a 6-month period, starting from the date of your first entry on to the Schengen territory, provided that you meet the entry conditions otherwise.
When you apply for a Belgium student national long stay visa you must submit the following compulsory documents:
- A properly completed and duly signed Belgium visa application form in duplicate
- An international passport valid for at least 6 months after your intended stay in the country, it must have at least two blank pages facing each other. Passport should be no more than 10 years old. You can also submit previous passports with visas and stamps; this can help assess your travel history. You can process your international passport at your nearest immigration office. Click here for our article on how to process your international passport.
- Three copies of your international passport bio-data page showing your passport number, date of birth, country of origin, etc.
- Recent passport photograph in dimensions of 35 – 40 mm, full face capture. Note that you must NOT staple the passport photo; passport photos with staple marks on them will not be accepted.
- Registration attestation documentation of admission from a Belgium government accredited educational institution.
The letter of acceptance on an official letterhead from the institution must detail the following information:
1. The applicant’s full name
2. The name of the institution
3. What course/programme the applicant has been admitted to
4. The duration of the course/programme
5. Details of tuition fees
- Travel medical insurance certificate. It is required that the insurance covers all days you are planning to stay in the Schengen area, this document must cover medical costs of up to €30,000. Click here for our article on where to get your travel insurance
- Proof of financial income and sufficient funds via a bank account statement, scholarship certificate grants and financial documentations/guarantees of your sponsor. It is required to cover all living, study, accommodation, healthcare, entertainment and return travel costs for the school year 2016/2017.
- Medical certification from an approved medical practitioner stating that you possess a clean bill of health. Tuberculosis and yellow fever cards are also allowed.
- A police clearance certification indicating that you have no prior convictions and a model citizen. Click here to find out how you can process one.
- Original and legalized school certificates and academic records (Bachelor degree, WAEC, etc) used for obtaining your admission to the Belgian institute from the Ministry of Education, Foreign Affairs and the Belgium embassy, for clarification on this process, visit here
- Letters of recommendation from professors and employers
- Students bio information like birth and marriage certificates
Note that other documentations may be required by the Belgian consular officers during visa application and interview.
Visa Application Fees
The approved standard visa application fees for the Belgium student visa is €60 (N21, 900), payment is made in cash at the bank teller counter at the VFS visa application centre. Take not that you might be charged extra for biometric data collection for The Visa Information System and visa application centre extra services.
Visa Application Process
Application for a Belgium student visa (D visa) is done via the visa external service provider VFS global office in Lagos and Abuja. The visa applications are submitted at the visa application centres in Lagos and Abuja. Applications submitted will be assessed by the Belgium Embassy in Abuja for forwarding to the Aliens office in Belgium for final visa approval consideration.
To complete your visa application process, you must bring along all your supporting documents in original, the student visa application form and a clear photocopy of all your supporting documents as well. Belgium visa application submission times are between 08:00AM to 14:00PM on Mondays – Fridays except on Nigerian and Belgium public holidays.
Collection of passports back from VFS Visa Application Centre is from 11:00AM to 16:00PM on Mondays – Fridays as well. If you want a representative to collect your passport on your behalf, you must include a letter of authority at the submission counter while submitting your visa application documents.
Biometric Data Collection
Biometric details will be collected from you at the visa application centre for the visa information system; this helps to ascertain your identity and travel status. This is done in a quick, discreet process that captures a facial image with a digital camera and a 10-digit fingerprint scan with a digital finger scanner.
Your face must be clearly visible for a photograph to be taken. If you wear a head or neck covering for religious reasons you must ensure your face is clearly visible, from the bottom of your chin to above your eyebrows including both cheeks. You may also need to remove your glasses when the photograph is taken.
Visa Processing Time
The Belgium student visa application process takes duration of 14-30 working days. You can track your visa application with your visa application reference number and date of birth via this link.
On Arrival in Belgium
You must report at the municipal administration in your location within 8 days to ask to be registered on the aliens register and issued with a residence permit (A card). This residence permit is registered on the list of residence permits issued by the Schengen countries allowing entry without a visa. As a general rule, you apply for the renewal of your residence permit between the 45th and the 30th day prior to its expiry date. This renewal is issued by the Aliens Office, on production of a valid work permit.
Belgium Visa Application Centre, Lagos
Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way,
Opposite Treasure Garden Estate,
Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I
Belgium Visa Application Centre, Abuja
62, Lobito Crescent,
Telephone +234 815 018 8800
Belgium Embassy, Abuja
9, Usuma Street,
Maitama, Abuja, Nigeria
Telephone (+234) 806 979 22 33 (visa section)
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