Frequently Asked Questions
Update effective July 1, 2014
As a result of changing legislation recently enacted by the Belgian Parliament, Honorary Consuls can no longer legalize/consularize any documents whatsoever. In order to authenticate any document for use in Belgium, the following steps need to be taken:
1. The document must be notarized by a Notary Public in Ohio;
2. The notarized document must then be submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State to obtain an Apostille.
Do I need a visa to travel to Belgium?
It depends what nationality you have. For certain countries such as the United States, there is no requirement to obtain a travel visa to go to Belgium. In other words, U.S. citizens need only a valid U.S. passport to travel to Belgium. For citizens of many other countries, a travel visa is required before you can travel to Belgium.
Where do I apply for a visa?
All visa applications, whether short term or long term, must be applied for and submitted in person at the Consulate General of Belgium in New York.
I am a citizen of India and will travel from the U.S. to India, making a stopover in Belgium to change planes. Do I need a traveler’s visa to enter Belgium?
It depends. Indian citizens who stay in the International Transit Zone of the Brussels International Airport (Zaventem) do not need a transit visa. But Indian citizens needing to collect luggage before boarding the next flight, will in fact leave the International Transit Zone (even if only for a short time) and hence they will need a visa. Indian citizens traveling to India on Jet Airways generally do not need a visa to connect through Brussels. For more information, please consult The Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in the United States of America.
My U.S. employer is transferring me to our company’s subsidiary or affiliate located in Belgium. What visa or permit will I need?
You will need to obtain both a work permit and a residency permit. The work permit is issued by the regional government (Flanders, Brussels or Wallonia) where the Belgium subsidiary or affiliate company is located. After obtaining the work permit, you will apply for a residency permit. The temporary residency permit is issued by the Consulate General of Belgium in New York. Upon obtaining the temporary residency permit, you will, within 7 calendar days of your arrival in Belgium, obtain the actual residency permit, which is issued by the commune of your residential address in Belgium. For more information, please consult The Embassy and Consulates of Belgium in the United States of America.
I am a Belgian citizen and need to renew my passport, or apply for a new one altogether. Does your office issue Belgian passports?
No. Belgian citizens residing in Ohio need to contact the Consulate General of Belgium in New York.
I am a Belgian citizen and my family and I have recently moved to Ohio. Do I need to register our family with your office?
No. However, it is recommended that you register your family with the Consulate General of Belgium in New York.
I am a Belgian citizen living in the United States with a Green Card. Can I apply for U.S. citizenship without losing my Belgian citizenship?
Yes, assuming you meet the qualifications to obtain U.S. citizenship. The law was changed in Belgium in 2007 to allow for dual citizenship under these circumstances.
I am a U.S. citizen with strong ties to Belgium, and I am interested to acquire Belgian citizenship. Is that possible?
It depends. The law on acquiring Belgian citizenship is quite complex, and each case is reviewed on its own merits. For more information, contact the Consulate General of Belgium in New York.