Border crossings

Points of entry into Belgium include airports located in Brussels, Antwerp, Liège, Ostend and Charleroi and seaports in Zeebrugge, Ostend and Antwerp. Belgium is also connected to the neighbouring countries of The Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Britain by road and by rail.

When travelling between Belgium and another Schengen country, routine immigration and customs checks do not take place - see the Schengen Agreement section below for more information. There may be occasional specifically targetted checks as a result of intelligence sharing.

However, when travelling between Belgium and non-Schengen countries (including Bulgaria/Cyprus/Ireland/Romania/United Kingdom), there are routine immigration checks and selective customs checks.

When leaving Belgium by Eurostar, only passengers travelling to London, Ebbsfleet or Ashford in Britain go through immigration checks in Brussels Zuid-Midi station by the Belgian Federal Police and the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) before departure. Passengers travelling by Eurostar to Lille or Calais do not go through immigration checks as they are travelling within the Schengen zone, although they may be asked to present an identity document by the Belgian Federal Police.

 

Travel documents

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens need only present 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. Some will require a visa - see the Visa section below for more information.

 

Visas

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens do not require a visa.

Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa if staying in the Schengen Area as a whole for less than 90 days in a 180 day period: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Hong Kong SAR (also British Nationals (Overseas)), Japan, Macao SAR,  Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, St Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela. Citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro must have biometric passports to enter without a visa. Citizens of Serbia must have a biometric passport not issued by the Co-ordination Directorate to be able to enter without a visa.

New Zealand citizens do not require a visa if staying in Belgium for up to 90 days, regardless of the time spent in other Schengen countries. For more information, visit the European Union website.

If you do not qualify for any of the visa exemptions listed above, you will need to apply for a visa before arriving in Belgium/the Schengen Area.

If your total stay in the Schengen Area is less than 90 days, you should apply for a visa at the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of the country which is your main destination or, if spending an equal length of time in each country, the first point of entry.

If your total stay in the Schengen Area is more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a national visa at the Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of the country which is your main destination, which will permit you to stay in the main country for the validity of the visa and in each other Schengen country for up to 90 days during the validity of the visa.

 

Schengen Agreement

Belgium is part of the Schengen Agreement, which means that there are no routine immigration checks when travelling to/from another Schengen country. The terms 'Schengen Area' and 'Schengen zone' refer to all Schengen countries as a whole.

In addition, a visa issued by one Schengen country is valid for all member countries, unless otherwise specified on the visa. With a Schengen visa, you may enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen zone according to the validity and conditions of the visa. If you plan to visit several Schengen countries, you should apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate of the country which is your main destination or, if spending an equal length of time in each country, the first point of entry.

At present, there are 26 Schengen countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. All these countries except Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are European Union members.

 

Customs

There are no restrictions on goods brought into Belgium for personal use from other European Union countries.

Note that Aland, Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are not part of the European Union customs territory.

The following limits apply on goods brought into Belgium from countries and territories that are outside the European Union customs territory:

  • 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos (max. 3g each) or 50 cigars or 250g of smoking tobacco per person (aged 17 or over)
  • 1 litre of spirits over 22%, or non-denatured ethyl alcohol with more than 80% volume or 2 litres of spirits or aperitifs made of wine or similar beverages less than 22% volume, or sparkling wines or liquer wines or a proportional mix of these products; plus 4 litres of still wine and 16 litres of beer per person (aged 17 or over)
  • other goods (for air/sea travellers) up to a total value of  EUR 430 or (for other travellers) EUR 300