Long stay visa (D-visa)

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General information


A “Long Stay” visa (D-type visa) is required for persons, including Canadians, who wish to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days. Please note this is not a Schengen visa. 

This visa is not required for citizens of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland. 

Applications must be lodged from your country of residence. 
 

Where and how to apply

 

  1. Anticipate as much as possible! Once you know about your stay in Belgium, start preparing your application. Do not wait until the last minute: our services face significant processing times and a late application will not lead to a swifter service. 
     
  2. Start by filling out an application form online on VisaOnWeb
     
  3. Then, make sure you assemble all necessary supporting documents (read this page carefully!) and prepare your application package. Do not forget to add your application form, duly dated and signed. 
     
  4. When your application package is ready, send it by post to the Consulate General (express mail with tracking number, e.g. Xpresspost, FedEx, UPS, DHL or Purolator). Disregard the functionality “make an appointment” on VisaOnWeb. In most cases, the procedure can be done remotely. 
     

KINDLY NOTE: Long stay visa applications must be lodged well in time, but no more than six months before the start of the intended stay. 
 

Processing times


Processing times depend on your D-type visa category and vary according to the time of the year and our workload. 

Please note that our services need to have your passport to (1) register your application and (2) at the end of the procedure to apply your visa. If needed, you may take your passport back while your application is being examined. 

Please always include a prepaid and pre-addressed return envelope (express mail with tracking number, e.g. Xpresspost, FedEx, UPS, DHL or Purolator) for the return of your passport and other official documents. 
 

Apply for a visa


To prepare your application file, please review the following requirements and lists of documents below. 


1. Fees 


In general, two sets of fees have to be paid for a D-type visa application: the administrative fee and the consular fees. 


1.1. Administrative fee 

Applicants for a Long stay visa must pay an administrative fee. Payment should be wired in EURO (€) onto the bank account of the Immigration Office in Belgium. The proof of this wire transfer must be provided with the visa application. 

The amount of the administrative fee depends on the category of visa you are applying. For further information, please consult this page


1.2. Consular fees 

In addition to the administrative fee, consular fees must be paid to the Consulate General at the time of application. These are (1) the visa handling fee (for a D-type visa) and (2) the fees for each legalisation (if relevant). If you apply for a professional card (see below), a special fee is required for this particular procedure. 

Consular fees must be paid in Canadian dollars (CAD) by Postal Money Order (issued by Canada Post) or by certified cheque/bank draft (issued by a Canadian financial institution) made out to the 'Consulate General of Belgium'. The payment must be added to your application package. Cash or personal cheques will NOT be accepted. If you apply in person at the Consulate General in Montreal, you can also pay with your credit or debit card at the counter during your appointment. 

For further information on consular fees, follow this link.  

 
2. List of documents 


The main immigration categories are:

  1. Tourism / Working Holiday Program  
  2. Work 
  3. Studies 
  4. Trainees 
  5. Family reunion / reunification 
  6. Research 

Information on all categories is available on the website of the Immigration Office. Some information is temporarily unavailable in English: however, all requirements are available in French and Dutch. 

 

Tourism / Working Holiday Program


The Working Holiday Program (WHP) is currently the only “Long stay” visa category for touristic purposes.  

Find out more: Working Holiday Program Belgium - Canada 

 

Work 


If you wish to settle in Belgium to work there, two separate procedures apply depending on whether your activity is salaried or self-employed/independent. 
 
Please note that trainees, even unpaid, are subject to the “single permit” procedure (see also point 4 “Trainees/Interns” below).  


1. Employees & Interns/Trainees 


If you plan to work as an employee or as an intern/trainee in Belgium (for more than 90 days), you should apply for a “single permit”. This permit is a combination of a work permit + authorisation to stay in Belgium (residency). 
 
(1)  As a first step, contact your future employer in Belgium. Your employer is responsible for filing the application for a “single permit” in Belgium. 

Please consult this page for more information: Single permit procedure   

(2)  As part of this application, you will normally be asked to provide a police certificate and a medical certificate. The police certificate will have to be apostilled by the relevant Canadian authority. The medical certificate will have to be legalized by our services if it is not issued by an accredited doctor. See bottom of this page for more information. 

(3) When the procedure in Belgium is completed, you will be granted a “single permit” from the competent Belgian authorities. 

(4)  Only then (not before!) should you apply for a visa with the Consulate General of Belgium in Montreal. Send your application file by post, consisting of the following documents: 

  • Dated and signed visa application form 
  • Your passport (note: it should be valid at least 15 months) 
  • Two ID photos: recent (no older than 6 months), in colour, white background, Canadian passport-size 
  • Single permit (authorization of the concerned Region) 
  • Postal money order or certified cheque for the visa fee (CAD 270,00) 
  • Pre-stamped and pre-addressed return envelope.  

For details, please refer to titles 2, 3 and 4 above.  


2. Self-employed workers 


If you plan to work as a self-employed/independent professional in Belgium (for more than 90 days), you should apply for a “professional card”. 

(1)  As a first step, consult the websites of the Immigration Office and of the Region in Belgium where you plan to establish your business: 

Immigration Office - Professional Card

Flanders 
Brussels Region 
Walloon Region  
German-speaking Community 

The application procedure and application forms vary from one Region to another. Make sure you comply with the procedures of the concerned Region and fill in the required form. 

(2)  As a second step, send your application file (original + 2 copies) to the Consulate General of Belgium in Montreal. Your application file should include: 

  • The application form by the concerned Region, duly filled in, dated and signed; 
  • A police certificate (see requirements at the bottom of this page); 
  • Postal money order or certified cheque with the required payment for the professional card (see consular fees); 
  • Two ID photos: recent (no older than 6 months), in colour, white background, Canadian passport-size; 
  • A copy of your passport (note: it should be valid at least 15 months); 
  • Any other document required by the concerned Region. 

For details, please refer to titles 2, 3 and 4 above. 

(3)  Once your file is complete, the Consulate General will transfer it for decision to the concerned Region in Belgium.  

(4)  Wait for the approval of the Region. 

(5) Once the professional card is granted, you can file your visa application at the Consulate General. Please refer to titles 2, 3 and 4 as to the procedure for filing your application. 

 

Studies 


To apply for a student visa, you should be able to provide an admission letter showing that you are enrolled as a regular student or as an exchange student in an education institute in Belgium. 

There are three different categories, as detailed below. Depending on the category you belong to, different sets of documents will be needed in order to lodge your application. 


1. Higher Education Students - Public Institute for Higher Education  


Students enrolled in a university or another institute for higher education in Belgium which is organised, recognised or subsidised under federal or regional law should follow the instructions here (PDF, 209.32 KB)

/!\ Contrary to what is indicated in the visa application confirmation email that you will receive, no appointment at the Consulate General is necessary. Your application package must be sent by post.  

We recommend that you submit your visa application as soon as possible and at the latest 1 month before the start of your studies in Belgium. Due to the large number of visa applications to be processed in a few weeks, the Consulate General cannot guarantee that visa applications submitted within less than 1 month will be processed for the desired date. 


2. High School Students - Secondary Education 


Students enrolled at a high school in Belgium with an exchange programme (such as AFS, Rotary, or a similar organisation) should follow the instructions here (PDF, 168.27 KB)

/!\ Contrary to what is indicated in the visa application confirmation email that you will receive, no appointment at the Consulate General is necessary. Your application package must be sent by post.  


3. Higher Education Students - Private Institute for Higher Education 


Student enrolled in a private institute for higher education can find all required instructions the website of the Immigration Office

Also send an email to our visa department who will send you a questionnaire to complete. 

No appointment at the Consulate General is necessary. Your application package must be sent by post. 

/!\ Please note: Processing times for this type of application are longer, due to the fact that your file must be sent and then examined by the Immigration Office in Belgium. Allow between 10 and 16 weeks of processing time. These deadlines may be longer if your file is incomplete (if supporting documentation is missing). Anticipate as much as possible to avoid any unnecessary stress! 

 


Trainees/Interns 


Trainees/interns who will do a traineeship/internship in Belgium (be it paid or unpaid) must possess a work permit from the relevant Region in Belgium. See instructions in point 2 “Employees & Interns/Trainees”. If you are exempt from a work permit, please include proof in your visa application. 

PLEASE NOTE: Since January 1st, 2023, trainees selected by Les Offices Jeunesse Internationaux du Québec (LOJIQ) are no longer exempt from a work permit, unless they are regularly enrolled in an institute for higher education in Belgium.  

 

Family reunion/reunification 


If you want to be reunited with your family in Belgium, you can apply for a family reunion/reunification visa. 

The visa requirements and processing times vary greatly, mostly according to your partner’s nationality and status in Belgium as well as your family link. 

Please visit the website of the Immigration Office for more information.  

Family members of EU citizens living in Belgium (except for Belgians) benefit from special regulations. Please mind Directive 2004/38/EC (PDF, 188.07 KB)


Research  


If you have a research agreement with a recognised institution in Belgium to do research, you should apply for a scientific visa. 

Please verify the framework of your stay with your hosting institution before applying for your visa. You may be exempt from part of the fees. 

Information on the scientific visa is available on the Belgian Science Policy website. 

If you are doing a PhD in Belgium, please refer to the “Studies” section above (point 3.1).
 

Useful links and information


Forms 


Application forms should be filled out online on the VisaOnWeb portal


Legalization 


For most Long stay visa applications, certain documents will need be either apostilled by Canadian authorities or legalized by the Consulate General. The legalization fee is CAD 30,00 per document. Any document to be apostilled or legalized must have been issued in the past 6 months. 

For more information, please visit our Legalization page and the Global Affairs Canada webpage about the apostille


Police Record Certificate / Certified Criminal Record Check 


If you are 18 years or older and you apply for a Long stay (D-type) visa, you must provide a Certified Criminal Record Check with fingerprints issued by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) within the last 6 months. This certificate should bear the RCMP seal and the signature of the Director General of Canadian Criminal Real Time Identification Services (CCRTIS). 

This document must then be apostilled by Canadian authorities: follow the procedure on this page

 
Medical Certificate 


For all Long stay (D-type) visa applications, you must present a medical certificate, issued either by a doctor accredited by the Consulate or by a general practitioner (PDF, 205.13 KB) (e.g. your family physician).

If you opt for a general practitioner, you must check online whether this practitioner is affiliated with the College of Physicians of the province where he/she practices and you must attach the result of your search to your application file. The medical certificate must be fully completed, bear the doctor’s signature, full name, practitioner number and seal (or the seal of the medical office where the doctor practices). Please use exclusively the template (PDF, 221.85 KB). Other types of certificate are not admissible. 

Finally, please note that in some cases, your medical certificate must be legalized by our services (see Legalization page), unless it is issued by an accredited doctor. 

For more information, visit this page

 
Immigration Office 


The Immigration Office is the Belgian national authority competent with immigration and visa policy.