What is the process for getting a student visa for Belgium?
- The first step is to get an acceptance from an approved university in Belgium after submitting your documents according to the requirements of the relevant university.
If the major is taught in English, you need to provide a TOEFEL or IELTS score as proof of your language proficiency (according to the language requirements for the relevant university).
- DELF or DALF is needed for majors taught in French.
- Scholarships : it differs from one university to another. Application instructions are usually shown on the website of each university.
- Visa process:
- Embassy of Lebanon in Brussels cannot help you get your visa or in getting an acceptance from a Belgian university.
- Once you receive an acceptance from the university, you start preparing your visa application to submit to the VFS :
- Letter of acceptance, university / school grades , contribution fees , health record from AUH or Clemenceau hospital, sponsor (the sponsor is not obliged to be one of your relatives, but must provide an Attestation from his work and a less than 6 months bank statement + submitting your application which is found on the website of the Embassy
- You will need to specify a contact person in Belgium and provide his/her address. It is a routine requirement, and that does not mean that you will have to live at the contact person’s place.
After getting your Visa:
- You have to pay the tuition fees.
- You have to start looking for a dorm, before you arrive to Belgium.
- Rent contracts are usually required for a minimum of 6 months duration. Most landlords require a deposit of one to three month’s rent.
- Some universities have their own dorms. To guarantee a place in the university housing, you must register as quickly as possible.µ
After arriving to Belgium:
- You need to bring the file submitted to the VFS with you and six passport-size photos of you.
- You should apply for the student residency card in the commune (town hall) where your apartment or dorm is located.
- The appointment must be taken via the website of the related commune.
- Then you need to submit your application including a “Registration Attestation” (from your university). You also need pay the related fees and indicate your specific address to get your “Annex”.
- A police officer comes then to visit you at your address, as part of the verification process, to make sure that you live there and then you will get an “attestation” from the police.
- You need then to take another appointment from the same website and go back with the police attestation for the signature and fingerprints.
- After receiving your serial number at your post, you need to take another appointment via the website to collect your residency card.
- You usually cannot open a bank account without having your ID card number and an address in Belgium.
- The university usually helps their own students to open a bank account, especially that not all banks accept student residency card. To this end, banks that accepts opening accounts for students are Bpost bank, ING bank, Belfius …
- Take an appointment on the wesite and follow the instructions of each bank to submit your application.
- Joining a Mutuelle is required in Belgium. You can ask your commune to help you in submitting your file.
- You can also search online to choose your preferences and submit an online application.
- You will receive your application via the post.
- Universities help their students to get an insurance. The most common insurance company that students in Belgium work with is PARTENA.
- After submitting your data, you will receive the contract via post and then you will have to pay 63 Euros as a first payment.
Financial social help
Students can ask for financial support from the CPAS (Centre Public d’action sociale), which is related to their commune, it depends on the financial situation of the student but usually they may help students who are without jobs.
Lebanese students can find student jobs in Belgium , most of the jobs require French language and a specific number of Work hours Is allowed Legally
But You can also find English speaking jobs
You can find student jobs at your university after contacting the student desk department
Extending your residency card in Belgium
In order to renew your residency card, you have two options:
- Enroll in another year of studies.
- Get a job offer and then you apply for a work permit.