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Belgium, an interesting country of northwestern Europe that’s been shaped by many different influences. Best known in the world for its waffles, chocolates, and beers. Belgium is indeed as fascinating and as diverse as its food and drinks!

In this article, I will guide you on how to apply for a Schengen Belgium Visa with your Philippine Passport.

Who is eligible to apply for a Belgium short-term visa?

Apply only at the Belgium Embassy only if ANY of these is true:

  • Sa Belgium lang kayo pupunta and you don’t have any plans na pumunta or mag visit sa neighboring Schengen countries.
  • You will visit multiple Schengen countries, pero sa Belgium ka mas magtatagal ng stay mo.
  • You will visit multiple Schengen countries, but the main purpose of your journey is in Belgium. (Example: aattend ka ng wedding or ng conference in Belgium, but you plan on going out to other Schengen countries while you’re there).
  • You will stay in multiple Schengen countries for the same number of days, but Belgium is your first point of entry. Meaning, Belgium will be your first entry. 

Important Documents to Prepare

Yes, paperwork and stuff! So, Gather all your documents for whichever category of visa you will apply for. Your application should be supported by a handful of paperwork, which I will discuss in detail in this section.

1. Create a new electronic visa application form and complete it correctly. You can do it by going to this link, fill it out and once your account is set up, you will be led to the electronic visa application form.

Once the application has been submitted electronically, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with the application form in PDF format in the attachment. You must print and sign this form, and then join it with the rest of your documents in support of your application. (For family members or a group, an application form must be submitted for each person.)

2.  Two current biometrical passport photos – have your passport photo taken. The embassy is very strict on their photo specifications.

  • Taken with nothing covering the face, without sunglasses or contact lenses, or a head covering unless worn for religious or medical reasons.
  • The subject should have their mouth closed (no grinning, frowning or raised eyebrows). 

After which, paste your photo on each of the electronic visa form that you completed online (1 original and 1 photocopy of the form).

3.  Original Passport and a Photocopy of it– The embassy requires that your passport is valid for at least another three months on the date the visa application is submitted. It also must have two empty pages for them to stamp your passport. If you have renewed your passport, bring your old one/s with you. These are needed especially if you have previous overseas trips.

Look: 33 Countries Where Philippine Passport Holders Can Visit Without a Visa

4. Download, print, and sign the Application Form and the Questionnaire

5. Your travel plan (travel destination, route, proof of accommodation and itinerary) with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from Belgium. With the necessary documents needed, this should clearly state the purpose of your travel. Normally, this would just include your complete flight itinerary. Remember that you do not need to book/pay for the ticket yet. You just need to show that a flight itinerary from the Philippines to your destination exists. However, I advise that you also prepare a cover letter stating the purpose of your trip to Belgium as well as a detailed itinerary (e.g., the exact destinations/sights that you will be visiting) just in case the embassy asks for it.

    • If applying as a Tourist:

      • A cover letter addressed to the Belgium Embassy Consul. If you are a first-time traveler to Belgium, please submit an informal declaration through a cover letter explaining your willingness to return to the Philippines before the expiration of your visa: What exactly will be an incentive for you to return to the Philippines, and can you submit proofs for these circumstances?
      • Your day-to-day itinerary – be specific in indicating the place you will visit and the tours you will join or take.

    •  

      • Flight reservation – Reservation ONLY. Do not pay for your flight reservations until your visa is approved. You can avail of my services for a dummy ticket so that I can assist you with your flight reservations. Get a flight reservation here

      • Proof of accommodation or Hotel reservations – you would need to show hotel bookings, but this does not mean that you must pay for your hotel reservations this early. You can check via Booking.com, Airbnb, Agoda, or simply an apartment. 

    • If visiting family or friends / If visiting boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiancé (Visit Visa for unmarried couples):

      • An informal invitation letter that was written by the host or by your partner who is based in Belgium – the content should include the host’s exact address of residence, the purpose of your travel, and the full duration of your travel and stay at your host’s country. 

      • Proof of relationship with the host, sponsor, or partner – these can be birth certificates, marriage certificates, written correspondence between you and your sponsor (screenshot of video calls and chats), proof of telephone connections, and other evidence of the relationship between you and your sponsor, and photos together.
      • If you want to visit a close relative: Proof of the urgency of that visit, e.g., marriage celebration, birth of a child, serious health problem, funeral.

      • Details regarding the means of travel for the outward and return journey (details regarding the airline), no flight ticket is needed.
    • Additional documents for children (minors):

      • Personal appearance of the parent(s) having legal custody, with their passports or identity cards. If a parent with legal custody lives abroad and cannot appear at the Embassy: Written declaration of consent from that parent, with authentication of his signature by the Belgian Embassy competent for his residence or by a local Belgian authority.
      • If the child’s parents were married and one parent is deceased: PSA death certificate
      • If the child’s parents were married and if one parent has the sole custody: Divorce or Annulment court order stating the court’s decision concerning the legal custody
      • PSA birth certificate of the child

If a child (minor) is traveling without the parent(s) having legal custody, a travel permit may be necessary. Please contact the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) after you receive the visa.

6. Travel Insurancethe coverage must be applied during the entire duration of the trip in Belgium and must be valid for all Schengen countries. Coverage sum must be AT LEAST EUR 30,000 (Php 2.5 million or USD 50,000). I highly recommend Pioneer Insurance which you can avail yourself through me. Feel free to directly inquire through JASTravel on Facebook and I would be very glad to assist you. 

For the list of recommended Schengen insurance companies in the Philippines, you can also check it through https://www.vfsglobal.com/Belgium/Philippines/pdf/New-Insurence-Visit-Family.pdf And it is also great to know that Pioneer Insurance is one them!

7. Proof of Funds or Financial Capacitythese documents are necessary to prove that you can either support yourself or your sponsor can cover your expenses financially during the whole duration of your travel. 

    • If applying as a Tourist or as a Visitor without a Sponsorthis means that you will cover all your expenses during the entire duration of your travel.
      • Bank statements – must show records of the past six months. A bank statement shows your transactions in your account at a specific period. It will show debits (withdrawals, payments, taxes, service fees) and credits (deposits, interest earned.) Bank Statements can also be seen online especially if you have a registered account. There is no signature for the manager or a bank officer.
      • Bank Certificate – it is a confirmation by the branch manager or a bank officer that you have an existing account in their bank. It shows the account number, the type, and other details such as the opening date of your account, your account balance as of the date of request, and your average daily balance. 
      • Other proof of income (supporting documents) – although it is not really required, you can submit invoices and pay slip equivalent to prove that you earn enough to support this trip financially.

    • If applying as a Tourist or as a Visitor with a Sponsor – this means that your host and/or sponsor (family, friend, partner, or fiancé) pledges to take full responsibility to cover all the expenses that you will incur during the whole duration of your travel.

If you maintain a bank account for a long time, better maintain it. Kahit na may sponsor ka, of course, plus points pa din sa visa application mo if idadagdag mo din bank statements mo, payslips from our employer, and other proof na financially capable ka din and most importantly, it proves deep rootedness as well.

Sponsorship Letter which should state the fact that he/ she is inviting you to come over, your relationship with each other, and that he/ she is willing to sponsor you during your trip. Of course, it needs to have documentary proof. 

Original Affidavit of Support, legalized by the Belgian municipality where the sponsor is registered 

The sponsor’s copies of: passport including the biodata page and travel history (passport stamps) and Belgian ID Card or Resident ID card

Recent proof of income of the sponsor (3 last months’ salary slips and last income tax assessment paper from the Finance Department in Belgium)

Family Composition of the sponsor (“Samenstelling van het Gezin / Composition de Ménage”) to be obtained from the sponsor’s Belgian municipality 

Proof of relationship with the sponsor (pictures together, Birth or Marriage certificate, and screenshot of chat conversations)

    • For Minors – Proof of economic means of parents or legal guardian/s

To know more about additional requirements that you would need from your sponsor, check out my YouTube video: https://youtu.be/SEad8VHVkLk

8. Proof of Civil Status – Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Death Certificate of the spouse, etc. These documents must be issued on security paper (SECPA) by the Philippine Statistics Authority, see http://www.psaserbilis.com.ph

Note: The birth certificate does not need to be authenticated by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs.

9. Evidence of your rootedness in the Philippines – Evidence of deep-rootedness a.k.a. strong family and social ties to your home country, is one of the most critical requirements when applying for a Schengen Visa. It is what the Consul will look for in your visa application. So how do you prove that you are firmly established in the Philippines and that you will go back to your home country?

    • For Employees: 
      • Employment or Work contract and bank account statements or payslips showing the transfer of your last six-monthly salaries 
      • Certificate of Employment which should include the employer’s full name, complete address, telephone number with area code, details regarding the position, income, and employment duration
      • Approved letter of approved leave signed by your employer (Leave of Absence letter)
      • Optional: Signed No Objection Certificate which states that your employer has no objection for you to travel to Belgium and that they have approved your leave request
      • Most recent Income Tax Return 2316 (ITR) 
      • Optional Supporting Documents:
        › Government Mandated Contributions – SSS, Pag-ibig, Philhealth Contributions
        › If with existing loan – SSS Loan or Pag-ibig Salary loan

    • For Self-Employed: 
      • DTI Business Name Registration Certificate
      • Barangay Business Clearance
      • Mayor’s Business Permit from your Municipality where the business address has been registered
      • Business activity of your company for the last 6 months – invoices and bank transactions
      • Most recent Income Tax Return 2316 (ITR) 

    • For Retirees: 
      • Pension statement for the last 6 months
      • Retirement Certification

    • Others (No work, No Business, etc.): Family as Proof of Rootedness:
      • For Solo parents:
        › A copy of your birth certificate- PSA Authenticated
        › A copy of your child/children’s birth certificate- PSA Authenticated
        › Solo parent ID
        › Barangay Certification as Solo parent
        › Notarized Affidavit of Solo Parent with Undertaking
        › Money remittances to support your dependents
      • For those who are supporting or watching over the health/well-being of the family
        › A copy of my parent’s birth certificates- PSA Authenticated
        › If parents are already Senior Citizens: a copy of their Senior Citizen ID and Barangay Certification as Senior Citizens
        › If parents have sickness/ illness: Medical history of parents (diabetes, hypertension, etc.)

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for a Belgium Short- Stay Schengen Visa

If you are applying for a Belgium Schengen Visa, there is an Embassy of Belgium in Manila, Philippines. But you’ll pass at the Belgium Visa Application Center, however, and you don’t need to go to the embassy. It’s much more convenient to pass in VFS as they already have a proper system.

Take note that I will be providing you with information that is accurate as of this writing which can change without notice, so please always check their website for updated information.

STEP 1: Determine whether you will apply for a TOURIST VISA or a VISIT VISA and have a look at the checklist of requirements to gather all the documents that you need to submit. Each application must comply with the guidelines applicable for your visa category. 

Note: Once you have completed all your documents based on the checklist, make sure to secure another copy for each document. 

STEP 2: Book your appointment via VFS Global Appointment Page. It is required that you set a date when you will submit your application requirements and be interviewed. 

It is also important that once you get routed to this page, you must register your information and e-mail address first. If you have already done this before, skip the account pre-registration part and simply log-in. Once the reservation is done, you will receive a confirmation via email. 

  • On the site:
    • Log-in using the details you used in your application form.
    • Click the schedule for an appointment. Fill in the details and click “Continue”.
    • Add the applicants.
    • Select the preferred schedule and book your appointment.
    • Print the appointment letter and bring it to your appointment.

To know more about the step-by-step process on how to set an appointment, please watch my vlog that I made previously for you to be guided: https://youtu.be/EoYz_cWbbvc

STEP 3: On the day of your appointment, you must bring the printed confirmation email as proof that you have a booked schedule. Make sure that you take note of your scheduled appearance. It is advisable that you arrive 30 minutes or even one hour earlier than your appointment.

Submit your documents, have your biometrics taken, and pay for the visa fee in cash, credit/debit card. Visa fee is Php 4,720 (adults) and Php 2,360 (minors from 6-12 years). You will also be required to pay for the VFS service fee of Php 1,260 and shipment fee amounting to Php 300 so that they can ship back your passport to your declared address that you have provided. 

To know more about the visa fees, you can check this link for more information: https://philippines.diplomatie.belgium.be/en/consular-services/tariff 

STEP 4: Wait for the results of your visa application. You can also track the status of your visa application online. 

STEP 5: Once the passport is out for dispatch, you can either pick it up at the application center or you can receive it via courier (if you opted to have it delivered to your address). Don’t forget to prepare a copy of your passport’s bio page and proof of payment/ receipt when claiming your passport.

That’s it! I hope this has helped clarify the detailed process in applying for a Belgium Short-Term Visa. Good luck with your application!

Quick Facts

UPDATE: Starting February 18, 2019 (February 21, 2019, in Cebu City), submission of BELGIUM SHORT-TERM SCHENGEN VISA APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS must be coursed through VFS Global. 
  • Validity of Visa Short-stay Schengen visas allow people to stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days every six-month period
  • Processing time: The average processing time is 2 weeks, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, where visa staff work on a skeletal schedule, it may take between 2 to 4 weeks.
  • Where to lodge your application:
    • VFS Manila
      Ground Floor, Eco- Plaza Bldg., 2305 Don Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati, Metro Manila
    • VFS Cebu :
      Unit 503, 5th Floor, Keppel Center, Samar Loop cor. Cardinal Rosales Avenue, Cebu Business Park, Cebu City 6000
  • Embassy’s Info: Embassy of Belgium in the Philippines
    • Address: Multinational Bancorporation Center 9th floor, 6805 Ayala Avenue, Makati City 1226 – NCR
    • Telephone Number: +63 2 88451869 to 73
    • E-mail: Manila.Visa@diplobel.fed.be
    • Website: https://philippines.diplomatie.belgium.be/en/visa/visa-belgium
  • Visa and Service Fees : 
    • Visa Fee – Php 4,640 (EURO 80)
      For 6-12 years – Php 2,320 (EURO 40)
    • VFS processing fee – Php 1,260
    • Shipment fee for the delivery of your passport: Php 300

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