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

Coronavirus - Frequently asked questions

On this page, you will find answers to the most questions asked to the Consulate in relation  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. Citizens or residents of Canada who do not hold Belgian or European nationality wishing to travel to Belgium

1. Consular activities

Is the Consulate open?

Following the sanitary situation and the directives of the Government of Quebec, the Consulate General of Belgium in Montreal is open by appointment only. Administrative procedures concerning passports and visas require an appointment to be made online. Concerning affidavit of support for students, queries will be processed remotely only.

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.

 

Can I apply for a new passport?

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

To pick up your new passport, we invite you to make an appointment with the Passport Department of the Consulate General in Montreal. Make sure you bring a piece of identification during your visit.

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 residents in Belgium or in Europe.

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 whose extended family is Canadian (condition: stay of at least 15 days and written authorization from IRCC)
  • 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)
  • Extended family members of a foreign national who is a permanent resident of Canada (condition: stay of at least 15 days and written authorization from IRCC) 
  • Foreign nationals travelling for humanitarian reasons (illness, death, care of a relative)

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 direct flights between Montreal and Brussels. 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 :

  • submit your information electronically through the ArriveCan application BEFORE boarding your flight. This includes travel and contact information, quarantine plan and Covid-19 symptom auto-assessment. For more information about ArriveCan application: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/arrivecan.html
  • As of 7 January 2021, present a negative result to a PCR test performed within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Canada.
  • 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.

*Please note: As of November 21, 2020 all travellers flying to Canada as their final destination will be required to submit their information electronically through the ArriveCan application BEFORE boarding their flight. This includes travel and contact information, quarantine plan and Covid-19 symptom auto-assessment. For more information about ArriveCan application: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/arrivecan.html

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 whose extended family is Canadian (condition: stay of at least 15 days and written authorization from IRCC)
  • 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)
  • Extended family members of a foreign national who is a permanent resident of Canada (condition: stay of at least 15 days and written authorization from IRCC)
  • Foreign nationals travelling for humanitarian reasons (illness, death, care of a relative)

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. Also, a person with whom you have been in an exclusive relationship for at least one year and with whom you have physically spent time is considered a member of the extended family.

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 have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction indicating that your application for a study permit has been approved.

2) You must attend a Designated Educational Institution (DLI) that has a provincially or territorially approved COVID-19 response plan.

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 can always travel to Belgium for any purpose.

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

 

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

 You must :

  • Fill in the "Passenger Locator Form" within 48 hours of your arrival in Belgium;
  • Inform you about the quarantine and COVID-19 testing measures in force on https://www.info-coronavirus.be/fr/voyages/;
  • Please note that each household in Belgium is only allowed to host one person at home, always the same person (children under 12 years old not included), and this while respecting the rules of social distancing.

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

 

Are quarantine and the Covid test obligatory on arrival in Belgium? 

Quarantine: For Belgium and the European Union, Canada is considered a "red zone" (= high risk of infection). On arrival in Belgium, travellers from Canada are subject to a 7-day quarantine (+ 7 days of "increased vigilance"). 

PLF: Within 48 hours before your arrival in Belgium, you are required to fill in the Passenger Location Form (PLF). Based on your answers, Public Health will determine whether you are at "high risk" of having been infected with the virus.

COVID Test: If you are considered to be at high risk, you will receive a text message with instructions for screening (PCR test). This test should generally be carried out on the 7th day after your arrival in Belgium. 

At the beginning of 2021, a new PLF system will be introduced, making a distinction between business and private travel. Business travellers with an employer's certificate will no longer have to be placed in quarantine if their PLF shows no risk behaviour. All other travellers will have to respect the quarantine in all circumstances.  

Non-residents - Negative test compulsory before departure : As of 25 December 2020, non-residents of Belgium must, from the age of 12, present a negative test result based on a test carried out at the earliest 72 hours before departure to Belgian territory. 

Exceptions : 

  •  Travellers who do not arrive in Belgium by air or sea ; 
  • Travellers who have made a short trip abroad (less than 48 hours); 
  • Travellers who will stay in Belgium for a maximum of 48 hours;
  • Travellers who only transit by air and who remain exclusively in the transit zone without entering Belgian territory. 

Prior to boarding, the carrier will check that the passengers concerned have a negative test result. In the absence of a negative test result, the carrier is obliged to refuse boarding.   

The presentation of a negative test result does not entail any exception to the obligation to fulfil the PLF and to its possible consequences, such as quarantine and a compulsory test on the seventh day after arrival in Belgium. 

Attention: The document, which will be presented to the carrier or the competent officers, must be drawn up in paper or electronic format and must be immediately available for consultation. The document must be produced in Dutch, French, German or English. Finally, the following elements must be included:

  • The test result must be negative; 
  •  The date of sampling must be clearly indicated: the document is valid for 72 hours from that date; 
  •  Only PCR tests for SARS CoV-2 with the PCR label are accepted; 
  • The analysis must have been carried out in an official laboratory in the country from which the traveller originates and certified by a doctor or pharmacist biologist.  

The following tests are not accepted:

  • RT-LAMP ; 
  • Serological tests ; 
  •  Rapid tests at Montreal airport (YUL). 

For people arriving in Belgium by their own means, random checks may be carried out at the borders.

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. Citizens or residents of Canada who do not hold Belgian or European nationality 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 Travel to 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 residents in Belgium or in Europe.

 

I am Canadian and I live in Belgium. Given the travel restrictions, am I allowed to go to Belgium? 

Any third-country national (non-EU or non-Schengen) who is a long-term resident (in possession of a valid residence permit issued by a Schengen state or a long-term national visa), as well as their family members, can always travel to Belgium for any reason.  

 

 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" within 48 hours of your arrival in Belgium;
  • Inform you about the quarantine and COVID-19 testing measures in force on https://www.info-coronavirus.be/en/travels/ 
  • Please note that each household in Belgium is only allowed to host one person at home, always the same person (children under 12 years old not included), and this while respecting the rules of social distancing.

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

 

Are quarantine and the Covid test obligatory on arrival in Belgium? 

Quarantine: For Belgium and the European Union, Canada is considered a "red zone" (= high risk of infection). On arrival in Belgium, travellers from Canada are subject to a 7-day quarantine (+ 7 days of "increased vigilance"). 

PLF: Within 48 hours before your arrival in Belgium, you are required to fill in the Passenger Location Form (PLF). Based on your answers, Public Health will determine whether you are at "high risk" of having been infected with the virus.

COVID Test: If you are considered to be at high risk, you will receive a text message with instructions for screening (PCR test). This test should generally be carried out on the 7th day after your arrival in Belgium. 

At the beginning of 2021, a new PLF system will be introduced, making a distinction between business and private travel. Business travellers with an employer's certificate will no longer have to be placed in quarantine if their PLF shows no risk behaviour. All other travellers will have to respect the quarantine in all circumstances.  

Non-residents - Negative test compulsory before departure : As of 25 December 2020, non-residents of Belgium must, from the age of 12, present a negative test result based on a test carried out at the earliest 72 hours before departure to Belgian territory. 

Exceptions : 

  •  Travellers who do not arrive in Belgium by air or sea ; 
  • Travellers who have made a short trip abroad (less than 48 hours); 
  • Travellers who will stay in Belgium for a maximum of 48 hours;
  • Travellers who only transit by air and who remain exclusively in the transit zone without entering Belgian territory. 

Prior to boarding, the carrier will check that the passengers concerned have a negative test result. In the absence of a negative test result, the carrier is obliged to refuse boarding.   

The presentation of a negative test result does not entail any exception to the obligation to fulfil the PLF and to its possible consequences, such as quarantine and a compulsory test on the seventh day after arrival in Belgium. 

Attention: The document, which will be presented to the carrier or the competent officers, must be drawn up in paper or electronic format and must be immediately available for consultation. The document must be produced in Dutch, French, German or English. Finally, the following elements must be included:

  • The test result must be negative; 
  •  The date of sampling must be clearly indicated: the document is valid for 72 hours from that date; 
  •  Only PCR tests for SARS CoV-2 with the PCR label are accepted; 
  • The analysis must have been carried out in an official laboratory in the country from which the traveller originates and certified by a doctor or pharmacist biologist.  

The following tests are not accepted:

  • RT-LAMP ; 
  • Serological tests ; 
  •  Rapid tests at Montreal airport (YUL). 

For people arriving in Belgium by their own means, random checks may be carried out at the borders.

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.

 

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 practitioners, professionals and researchers as well as professionals providing care for the elderly
  • Cross-border workers
  • Seasonal agricultural workers
  • Transport staff
  • Diplomats on duty, staff of international organisations and persons invited by international organisations and whose physical presence is necessary for the proper functioning of these organisations 
  • Security and public order sector, military, civil protection, customs and immigration staff
  • Humanitarian staff
  • Seafarers

For all other sectors:

  • The travel of highly qualified persons, when their work is economically necessary and cannot be postponed or carried out from abroad; including the travel of professional athletes with HLS (high level sportsman) status and professionals in the cultural sector when they have a special permit, as well as journalists, in the exercise of their professional activity;
  • Travel of persons who come to work as employees in Belgium, including au pairs, regardless of the duration of this activity, provided they are authorised by the competent Region (work permit or proof that the conditions for an exemption are met);
  • People coming to work as a self-employed person in Belgium, whatever the duration of this activity, provided they are authorised by the competent Region (valid work permit or proof that the conditions for an exemption are met). 

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 residents in Belgium or in Europe.

 

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 residents in Belgium or in Europe.

 

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 residents in Belgium or in Europe.

 

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

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.