International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium

In 2021 a joint initiative of Belgium and The Netherlands

Visa Requirements

General VISA information

  • EU, EEA (European Economic Area) and Swiss citizens need only a valid passport or national identity card. All other citizens need to present a passport or other accepted travel document that is valid for the total duration of their planned stay in Belgium.
  • EU, EEA and Swiss citizens do not require a visa.
  • Because of the common rules of the Schengen zone in the issuance of visas, you will have to apply for a visa when travelling to Belgium if you are:
  • The process of obtaining a Belgian visa runs smoothly for congress delegates.
  • All the information concerning visa applications for Belgium is available on the website of the Foreigners Department of the FPS Home Affairs, which is the competent Belgian authority for access to the territory, stay, residence and removal of foreigners in Belgium.
  • More information can also be found on this website and on this website.

Applying for a VISA

Please find below more information about:

Embassy or consulate for my visa application?

You should apply for your visa in person at the Belgian embassy or consulate which is competent for your country of residence, where you will be requested to communicate your travel destination as well as the circumstances of it. In a number of cases, you can lodge your visa application through an external service provider (outsourcing partner). In some very specific cases, you can also be exempted from personally lodging your application. If you want to know more about it, please contact the relevant embassy or consulate. If you want to find out which Belgian embassy or consulate is competent for you visa application, please  click here (PDF, 302.29 KB) -  country codes (PDF, 26.41 KB).

Contact details Belgian embassies and consulates

Short stay VISA

If you apply for a short stay visa (up to 90 days), some countries offer the possibility of having your visa application treated by another Schengen country Belgium has concluded a representation agreement with. In order to verify which embassy is competent for your country of residence and whether Belgium is represented by a Schengen partner for short stay visa, please  click here (PDF, 302.29 KB) -  country codes (PDF, 26.41 KB).

Note: Representation in the matter of visa only concerns Schengen visa applications (short stay up to 90 days) for:

  • Tourist visits
  • Visits to family or friends
  • Cultural or sports manifestations
  • Business trips
  • Short traineeships
  • Transit through the Schengen area

Long stay VISA

Long stay visa applications (more than 90 days) or short stay visa applications aiming at a longer stay in Belgium (e.g. marriage in Belgium), are not covered by the representation agreement and must hence be lodged with the relevant Belgian embassy or consulate. If there is no Belgian embassy or consulate in your country of residence, you should apply to the Belgian embassy or consulate responsible for that country (and usually located in a neighbouring country): click here (PDF, 302.29 KB) -  country codes (PDF, 26.41 KB).

Processing time for VISA application

The processing time for a visa application depends on the purpose and duration of the intended stay.

In some cases, diplomatic and consular posts may issue the visa without consulting the Immigration Office. In other cases, the posts forward the visa application to the Immigration Office, which grants or refuses the visa.

Sending a visa application to the Immigration Office will inevitably increase the processing time of an application, especially when the file has to be sent to Brussels by diplomatic bag (i.e. an additional 2 to 4 weeks).

The processing time is also longer at certain times of the year (summer, school holidays, end of the year). Therefore, the Immigration Office advises persons who wish to travel during these periods to submit their file several weeks prior to the date of travel.

In order to avoid additional processing time, the Immigration Office also recommends that travellers make sure that their file is complete before submitting their visa application.

Finally, the Immigration Office advises to follow the processing of a visa application via the "How is my visa application progressing?" app rather than by phone or e-mail. The time required to respond is indeed time that cannot be spent on processing visa applications.

Short-stay visa (family visit, tourism, business, cultural or sporting event, etc.)

Belgian diplomatic and consular posts may issue a C visa (maximum 90 days) without consulting the Immigration Office if the conditions for entry into the Schengen territory have been satisfied. In most cases, this visa is issued within 15 days of the submission of the visa application [see article 23 of the Community Code on Visas].

If the conditions for entry are not met, or if the applicant is in a particular situation, the posts are required to forward the visa application to the Immigration Office. In this case, the processing time is longer, especially at certain times of the year (summer, school holidays, end of the year).

Currently, the processing time ranges from 30 to 85 days from the day the Immigration Office receives the visa application.

Visa assistance

MCI will assist in all necessary paperwork concerning visa applications for delegates, speakers and VIPs.

If a visa letter is required, it can be requested during the online registration process. The participant is asked to fill in all necessary details (i.e. passport number, expiry date, etc.) and the letter will then be processed and sent automatically from the registration platform. If required, the letter can also be sent by regular mail.

If one of the delegates faces troubles to get the visa, we will do our utmost to assist further (i.e. calling the embassy, providing additional information, etc.).


Please contact us for any questions you may have or if you need assistance.