Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in Canada
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Travel to Belgium

 COVID-19 : Exceptional measures for an exceptional situation

1. GENERAL RULE
2. EXCEPTIONS 
3. PROCEDURE

1.GENERAL RULE 

  1. Belgian, European or resident citizens

Since 19 April 2021, non-essential travel to Belgium is once again permitted - subject to conditions - for certain categories of persons:

  • Persons holding the nationality of a Member State of the European Union or of the Schengen area (including Belgian citizens); 
  • People (of all nationalities) who have their main residence in Belgium or in another Member State of the European Union or the Schengen area. 

However, if you belong to one of these categories, the lifting of the travel ban does not mean that you are encouraged to travel: on the contrary, non-essential travel remains strongly discouraged until the health conditions have stabilised.

  1. Canadian citizens or non-European residents of Canada

Travel to Belgium from Canada is prohibited, unless there is an "essential reason" (see Title B. SPECIAL CONDITIONS). 

2. EXCEPTIONS

 

Travellers subject to the travel restrictions under point A.b are authorised to travel, subject to the normal conditions of access to Belgium, on the basis of an essential visa or travel certificate:

  • 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
-Seafarers

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 degrees);
- 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 partner);
- Travelling in the context of co-parenthood; including an Assisted Human Reproduction project ;
- Short-stay visits by the spouses and children of diplomats, with a declaration on honour as approuved by Belgian Foreign Affairs' Protocol.

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.

3. PROCEDURE

 

Anyone wishing to travel to Belgium for an essential reason must first obtain authorisation from the Consulate, in the form of a visa or travel certificate*. Applications for other categories remain suspended until further notice.

*With the exception of Belgian citizens, citizens of the European Union or the Schengen area and long-term residents in Belgium or in Europe (see Title A. GENERAL FRAMEWORK).

With a few limited exceptions, anyone who wishes to apply for a travel authorization with the Consulate general of Belgium in Montreal should reside or legally stay in and depart from its jurisdiction, i.e. Canada, the Bermuda Islands and the territorial community of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.

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

For a short stay (<90 days) of an essential nature: a C visa, for short stay, must be requested for nationalities subject to it. In case of exemption, apply for an "attestation of essential travel" by e-mail to the Consulate General of Belgium in Montreal specifying the essential reason, except for common-law spouses, who must apply by post.  The attestation is not necessary for seamen, transit and diplomats.

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

Before your trip

In order to travel, each traveller must :

- complete a 'Passenger Location Form' (PLF) within 48 hours of arrival in Belgium 

- be informed about the evolution of the health situation and the conditions of entry into Belgium, in particular regarding COVID-19 tests: test before departure for non-residents or test on arrival for residents + 2nd test on day 7 after arrival; 

- prepare for a 10-day quarantine upon arrival in Belgium; 

- check the specific sanitary measures put in place by the airline;  

- in case of transit, make sure to respect the measures of the transit country in addition to the Belgian measures.

Non-residents of Belgium:

Non-residents of Belgium must, from the age of 12, present a negative test result based on a COVID-19 PCR test carried out at the earliest 72 hours before departure to Belgian territory. A second test must be taken on the 7th day after arrival. See this page for more details.

Residents of Belgium:

Residents of Belgium are required to take a COVID-19 PCR test on the first day of arrival on Belgian soil. A second test must be taken on the 7th day after arrival.  

Notice to all passengers

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

All passengers must be able to show to both the airline and border control that they meet the entry requirements of the Schengen Area.