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In what circumstances is a visa required for business visitors?
A visa is required for business visitors not holding a passport issued by one of the countries referred to in Article 1(2) of Council Regulation 539/2001.
What restrictions are imposed on business visitors in terms of the work that they may undertake and their period of stay in your jurisdiction?
Business visitors may not work but may attend conferences, specialised seminars and business meetings. The authorised period of stay is 20 consecutive calendar days and a maximum of 60 days per calendar year. It must be distinguished between the short stay visa validity and the right to stay for business purposes.
Application and entry
How are business visitor visas obtained and what is the typical turnaround time?
The application must be lodged at the Belgium diplomatic mission (or mission having jurisdiction to receive such applications) in the country of residence or the country of nationality. The typical turnaround time is 15 days from the date of application.
Are any visa waiver or fast-track entry programmes available?
Belgium is bound by the EU common visa policy for:
- transit through the country;
- intended stays of a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period; and
- transit through the international transit areas of airports located in the country.
The list of visa waiver countries is set out in Council Regulation 539/2001 as amended.
Visa facilitation agreements concluded by the European Union are binding on Belgium.
Fast-track and free-of-charge visas are issued to third-country nationals who are family members of EU nationals, to accompany or join the latter.
What rules and procedures apply for visitors seeking to undertake short-term training in your jurisdiction?
Business visitors are not authorised to undertake training in Belgium.
The Royal Decree of June 9 1999 provides the different training categories, some of which are work permit exempt.
In what circumstances is a transit visa required to pass through your jurisdiction? How is it obtained?
Nationals of the third countries listed in Annex IV of EU Regulation 810/2009 must hold an airport transit visa when passing through the international transit areas of airports situated on Belgian territory.
The categories of persons exempt from this requirement are provided in Article 3.5 of the regulation.
Airport transit visas are issued pursuant to Article 26 of the regulation.
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