Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in Canada
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Travel to Belgium

 COVID-19 : Exceptional measures for an exceptional situation



Belgium’s borders are currently closed to non-essential travel from Canada.

Tourism, family visits and commercial prospecting in Belgium are therefore not allowed, neither for Canadian citizens nor for residents of Canada.


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

The following people are authorized to travel, bearing in mind that usual access requirements to Belgium (e.g.: visa) must be observed.

  • Access granted for any purpose

- Belgian citizens;
- Citizens of the European Union, the Schengen area and of Associated States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) 
- Long term residents of Europe

Core family members* of the above mentioned persons can also travel to Belgium, regardless of the purpose of their trip.  If they are not a citizen of Belgium and reside outside of the European Union, the Schengen are and the United Kingdom, they should apply for a travel authorization.
*Core family members : spouse, legal cohabitant (registered partner), dependent ascendants and descendants under 21 as well as dependents and those of the spouse or partner.

  • Access for essential reasons - subject to authorization

1. Work-related travel in the key sectors
2. Work-related travel by staff from other sectors, under conditions
3. Transit : international or Schengen
4. Travel for imperative family reasons
5. Travel for essential needs


1. Work-related travel in the key sectors:

-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

2. Work-related travel by staff from other sectors, under conditions

- 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). 


3. Transit : international or Schengen

Transit passengers, regardless of their place of departure.

4. Travel for imperative family reasons

-Trips in the context of funerals or cremations (first and second degrees);
- Trips for civil or religious weddings (first and second degree);
- Travel for the purpose of family reunification (including visas for cohabitation or marriage);
- Short-stay visits to a spouse or legal cohabitant when, for professional or personal reasons, the spouses or legal cohabitants are living apart;
- Short-stay visits to a common-law partner who does not live under the same roof (NB: Instructions for applying for a certificate for common-law patner);
- Travelling in the context of co-parenthood;
- Short-stay visits by the spouses and children of diplomats, with a declaration on honour as referred to in the Protocol of Belgian Foreign Affairs.

5. Travel for essential needs

- Humanitarian travel, including travel for imperative medical reasons or to pursue urgent medical care and to provide assistance to an elderly, minor, vulnerable or disabled person; 
- Persons travelling for educational reasons. This includes travel of pupils, students and trainees who are undergoing training as part of their studies in Belgium, as well as researchers under a hosting agreement.


Anyone who intends to go to Belgium for an essential reason must obtain a travel authorization or a visa before traveling from the Consulate before traveling. All other visa applications have suspended until futher notice. 

For an essential stay of >90 days (long stay) : you should apply for a D-visa.

For an essential stay of <90 days (short stay): Nationalities subject to Schengen visas must apply for a C-visa (short stay visa). For others: please apply for a “travel exemption” by email to the Consulate General of Belgium in Montreal – please specify under which category. This document is not necessary for mariners, passengers in transit nor diplomats.

Please refer to the following page to apply for a visa : visa for Belgium.

Before your trip

Before traveling, all travelers must :

Notice to all passengers

The Consulate General of Belgium in Montreal is not responsible to grant access to our territory, which is a prerogative of the Border control. The Border Control always keeps the ultimate right to let any traveler enter Belgium or not.

Any passenger must be able to show to both the airline and the border control that they meet the entry requirements of the Schengen area.