Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in Canada
Home Coronavirus - Frequently asked questions

Coronavirus - Frequently asked questions

Webpage under construction. Please refer to the French version of this page. 

 

 

 

On this page, you will find answers to the main questions asked to the Consulate about the situation with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic.

1. Consular activities

2. Belgians residing in Belgium wishing to travel to Canada

A. Short-term travel

B. Long stay (Students, WHV, Temporary Visa)

3. Belgians residing in Canada wishing to travel to Belgium

4. Third-country nationals residing in Canada wishing to travel to Belgium

1. Consular activities

Is the Consulate open?

The Consulate General of Belgium in Montreal is open. However, in light of the current health situation, we are forced to adapt our mode of operation. The administrative procedures concerning affidavit of support for students, passports and visa require an appointment to be made online. For other consular services, the Consulate is accessible from 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday.

To make an appointment, please visit the following pages:

  •  For passports and affidavit of support for students: appointment form
  •  For visas: see section C of our page on this subject. How to make an appointment is explained according to the type of visa you need.

What is the situation regarding passport renewals?

To renew your passport, you need to make an appointment through our online platform accessible here. For more information regarding passport applications, please consult the section "Passport applications in Montreal".

If you were not able to pick up your passport due to the COVID19 crisis, you can now pick it up at the Consulate without an appointment with an identity document from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 12:45 pm.

Is it possible to obtain a visa to travel to Belgium?

The ban on non-essential travel to Belgium from outside the European Union remains in force until further notice. Tourism, family visits and business trips in Belgium are therefore not allowed, neither for residents of Canada nor for Canadian citizens.

Exceptionally, these temporary travel restrictions do not apply to certain nationalities, nor to essential workers or people traveling for imperative reasons.

We invite you to consult our page Visa for Belgium for more information.

Attention: Anyone* wishing to travel to Belgium must first obtain authorisation from the Consulate, in the form of a visa or travel certificate.

*except for Belgian citizens, citizens of the European Union, the Schengen area or an associated state and long-term European residents.

2. Belgians residing in Belgium wishing to travel to Canada

A. Short-term travel

I have a trip planned to Canada in the next few weeks, do I have to cancel it?

We invite you to regularly consult the Canada travel Advice from Belgian Foreign Affairs available here.

In order to contain the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, travel restrictions have been put in place to limit travel to Canada. Since March 18, 2020 and until further notice, the vast majority of people cannot travel to Canada. These restrictions suspend all non-essential (discretionary) travel to Canada. To travel to Canada, you must therefore demonstrate that you are exempt from the restrictions AND that your travel is essential.

We invite you to consult the page Travellers coming from outside the US who are exempt from the travel restrictions for more information.

However, Canada provides several exceptions. The following people are allowed to enter Canada, provided they do not present symptoms :

  • Foreign nationals who are Canadian citizens
  • Foreign nationals whose immediate family is Canadian (stay of at least 15 days)
  • Foreign nationals who are permanent residents of Canada (including persons whose Confirmation of Application for Permanent Residence (CPR) was issued on or before March 18, 2020 but who have not yet arrived in Canada)
  • Immediate family members of a foreign national who is a permanent resident of Canada (stay of at least 15 days)

If you do not belong to one of these categories, you must postpone your trip to Canada.

Students, WHP participants and temporary workers should consult the "Long Stay" section below.

I would like to return to Belgium by transiting through Canada. Is this allowed?

Yes, under certain conditions. Until further notice, the airports of Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver accept international commercial flights. Transit passengers must have a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). While in transit, they are required to remain in the international zone of the airport (no connection between two Canadian airports: arrival and departure at the same airport). The duration of their stay in transit cannot exceed 24 hours.

It is forbidden to transit through Canada if you have symptoms.

Are flights maintained between Canada and Belgium?

Air Canada continues to operate five flights a week between Montreal and Brussels for the months of September and October 2020. We invite you to regularly consult the airline's website for more information.

What guidelines apply to travellers upon arrival in Canada?

When you arrive in Canada, you must :

  • Justify a confinement plan (via the government application "Arrive Can" or the online form). The confinement plan must specify where you will be staying, the means you will use to get to your destination, food supplies and access to essential services and medical care;
  • Undergo a symptom assessment by a border services officer or a quarantine officer;
  • Place you in isolation for 14 days. Failure to do so is punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment.

For more information, please refer to the Canadian authorities' website on this subject.

We also invite you to consult the respective websites of the provincial authorities for provincial requirements regarding entry, quarantine and public health.  

My partner lives in Canada and we have been separated for many months. Can I visit him/her?

In order to contain the spread of the COVID19 outbreak, travel restrictions have been put in place to limit travel to Canada. Since March 18, 2020 and until further notice, the vast majority of people cannot travel to Canada. These restrictions suspend all non-essential (discretionary) travels to Canada. To travel to Canada, you must therefore demonstrate that you are exempt from the restrictions AND that your travel is essential.

Those exempt from the restrictions are as follows:

  • Foreign nationals who are Canadian citizens
  • Foreign nationals whose immediate family is Canadian (stay of at least 15 days)
  • Foreign nationals who are permanent residents of Canada (including persons whose Confirmation of Application for Permanent Residence (CPR) was issued on or before March 18, 2020 but who have not yet arrived in Canada)
  • Immediate family members of a foreign national who is a permanent resident of Canada (stay of at least 15 days)

The spouse or common-law partner is considered a member of the immediate family. For more information on the status of common-law partner, we invite you to consult the Canadian government's dedicated page available here.

If you do not fall into these categories, you are not allowed to travel to Canada.

B. Long stay (Students, WHP, Temporary Visa)

 I am not a permanent resident of Canada (I am a student/WHV/worker on a temporary visa) and am currently outside of Canada. Am I allowed to enter Canada?

Yes, under certain conditions. Restrictions have been put in place to limit travel to Canada. These restrictions suspend all non-essential (discretionary) travel to Canada. To travel to Canada, you must therefore demonstrate that you are exempt from the restrictions AND that your travel is essential.

  • International Students :

In order to enter Canada, you must meet 2 requirements:

1) you must travel for essential (non-discretionary) purposes

2) you must be an international student with a valid study permit or who has received approval for a study permit at the latest on March 18, 2020

Your trip to Canada may be considered non-discretionary as a student if :

  • you already live in Canada;
  • you need to be in Canada for your program (for lab work, workshops, or similar);
  • your educational institution does not offer online study options;
  • you can't study online from your home country because of internet restrictions or bandwidth limitations;
  • you can't participate in live online classes from your home country because of differences in time zones.

Please note: Due to border restrictions, you will only be able to enter Canada if your travel is essential. University enrollment is not a sufficient reason for you to travel to Canada if the classes are online and can be taken from your country of residence. In this case, you may be denied boarding or entry into Canada.

For more information on the rules applied by Canadian authorities to students, we recommend you to consult the IRCC website. In addition, important information for international students in Canada and for those intending to study in Canada is available on the following page: Information for International Students.

  • Working Holiday Program (WHP) Participants :

"Working Holiday Program" participants are authorized to enter Canada if they have a valid job offer AND a valid work permit.

For more information, you can consult the Government of Canada's page on this subject available here. You can also consult the frequently asked questions related to COVID-19 developed by International Experience Canada.

Please note that Service Canada offices are still partially closed. Administrative procedures have therefore slowed down considerably, and it is very difficult to obtain a social insurance number, which is essential to access employment and join provincial insurance plans if you are eligible.

3. Belgians residing in Canada wishing to travel to Belgium

 I live in Canada. Am I allowed to go to Belgium?

Any person of Belgian nationality with or without main residence in Belgium, long-term residents in Belgium and persons with legal residence in Belgium as well as their legal family can always return to Belgium subject to compliance with the entry conditions (visa, essential travel certificate).

In addition, citizens of the European Union, the Schengen area or an associated state (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and long-term European residents are allowed to travel to Belgium.

We invite you to consult our page Visa for Belgium for more information.

What measures apply to me when I arrive on Belgian territory?

 You must :

  • Fill in the "Passenger Locator Form" (before your deparature);
  • Respect the obligatory quarantine of 14 days;
  • Submit to a COVID-19 testing procedure.

More information is available on https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/

Are Belgian nationals living in a closed region of Quebec allowed to travel by plane?

The regions currently closed in Quebec are the Terres-Cries-de-la-Baie-James and Nunavik. Belgian nationals can travel to take a plane. It is recommended to carry proof of imminent flight while travelling.

4. Third-country nationals residing in Canada wishing to travel to Belgium

I live in Canada. Am I allowed to go to Belgium?

The ban on non-essential travel to Belgium from outside the European Union remains in force until further notice. Tourism, family visits and business trips in Belgium are therefore not allowed, neither for residents of Canada nor for Canadian citizens. Only travel for essential reasons is allowed.

Exceptionally, these temporary travel restrictions do not apply to certain nationalities, or to persons exercising an essential function or presenting an essential need.

We invite you to consult our page Visa for Belgium for more details.

Attention: Anyone* wishing to travel to Belgium must first obtain authorisation from the Consulate, in the form of a visa or travel certificate.

*except for Belgian citizens, citizens of the European Union, the Schengen area or an associated state and long-term European residents.

 If I am authorized to travel to Belgium, what measures apply to me when I arrive on Belgian territory?

You must :

  • Fill in the " Passenger Locator Form" (before your deparature);
  • Respect the mandatory quarantine of 14 days;
  • Submit to a COVID-19 testing procedure.

More information is available on https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/

I am in Canada and need to transit through Belgium. Is this possible? Do I need a certificate and specific supporting documents?

Yes, this is allowed. The following categories of travellers are exempted and do not need an airport transit visa :

  • Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of many other countries
  • Permanent residents of Canada travelling with a valid card.
  • Travellers with a valid visa for Canada, travelling to or from Canada

If you need to leave the international airport transit zone or if you are transiting through more than one airport in the Schengen zone, you must be authorized to make a short stay, which means obtaining a Schengen (short-stay) visa for the nationalities that are subject to it.

For more information on transits in Belgium, please consult the Border Control website.

Attention: Anyone* wishing to travel to Belgium must first obtain authorisation from the Consulate, in the form of a visa or travel certificate.

*except for Belgian citizens, citizens of the European Union, the Schengen area or an associated state and long-term European residents.

I would like to make a business trip to Belgium. Is this allowed?

Business trips by staff from the following sectors are allowed :

  • Health sector: health personnel, researchers and professionals in the care of the elderly
  • Border labour sector
  • Agricultural sector: seasonal workers
  • Transport sector
  • Diplomatic sector: diplomats on duty and persons necessary for the proper functioning of international organisations
  • Security and public order, customs and immigration sector
  • Humanitarian sector
  • Marine sector

For all other sectors, travel of highly qualified workers is permitted, provided that it is essential, represents added value for the Belgian economy and cannot be postponed or carried out abroad.

For more information, please consult our page Visas for Belgium

Attention: Anyone* wishing to travel to Belgium must first obtain authorisation from the Consulate, in the form of a visa or travel certificate.

*except for Belgian citizens, citizens of the European Union, the Schengen area or an associated state and long-term European residents.

A member of my family, who lives in Belgium, is seriously ill. Can I visit him/her?

Yes, if you are a family member of the 1st and 2nd degree, you can apply for an exemption from travel restrictions for essential reasons and include in your application a medical certificate requiring your presence.

Attention: Anyone* wishing to travel to Belgium must first obtain authorisation from the Consulate, in the form of a visa or travel certificate.

*except for Belgian citizens, citizens of the European Union, the Schengen area or an associated state and long-term European residents.

My partner lives in Belgium and we have been separated for many months. Can I visit him/her?

Short-stay visits by a spouse, registered or common-law partner when you do not live together are allowed. You must apply for an exemption from the travel restrictions for essential reasons. See this page for more information. Visit this page for more information.

Attention: Anyone* wishing to travel to Belgium must first obtain authorisation from the Consulate, in the form of a visa or travel certificate.

*except for Belgian citizens, citizens of the European Union, the Schengen area or an associated state and long-term European residents.

I want to get married in Belgium. Is this allowed?

It is possible to get married in Belgium. If you are not a Belgian citizen, a citizen of the European Union, the Schengen area or an associated state, or a long-term European resident, you are subject to prior authorisation. In other words, your application for authorisation will be granted on the basis of a dossier.

Persons subject to a Schengen visa must submit an application for a Schengen visa for the purpose of marriage. Persons exempt from a Schengen visa, such as Canadian citizens, must submit an application for a travel certificate for essential reasons.