Getting a Belgium Long Term Visa in India (for study)
After getting an admit I was elated and frankly never thought of the arduous journey ahead. The process can be grouped into these steps:
- Getting the required documents
- Submitting the application
Getting the required documents
If you have a degree certificate, then great. Most often, students completing their studies in the same year don’t get it. Don’t wait for the university convocation, instead get a provisional certificate after the results have been announced. Next is the admission letter from the university.
For getting the visa, you need to undergo a medical test from a facility recognised by the embassy. You get the list of centres here. It is a smallish test and depending upon the test centre you might get the results the same day. Take care not to open the medical record, you need to submit it as sealed document to VFS.
To make sure you have no pending criminal cases, the embassy requires a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC). There are two ways of obtaining a PCC: from the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) and the Police. You have to look for more information elsewhere if you want to try the latter method. The former is trivial, apply in the passport seva website and go to PSK according to your appointment. You will get it in an hour at most.
For proving your financial ability, you can produce a solvency certificate from the university or someone can vouch for you. For further details, this page from the University of Leuven website is very thorough. Recently they have introduced another contribution fee for the visa, for a government funded university, €160 to the embassy. More details at their immigration website. Get a receipt from the bank confirming your wire transfer. You need to attach this to your application.
Degree certificate and PCC needs to have an apostille stamp. Your degree certificate needs to be verified by the state department first. It will take about 10 days. You can find their location here. If the PCC was obtained from the PSK, no state verification is needed, since it is issued by the MEA itself. Now go to the MEA to get it verified. This will take only a day.
The medical certificate needs to be legalised by the embassy. Take it to VFS and get it done before applying for visa.
Submitting the Application
Fill two visa application forms. You can find the copy here. If you have any serious questions ask the embassy and VFS and the VFS is generally reliable to provide correct information. But be really cautious and ask the embassy to confirm. You need to have two copies of all the documents.
Go to the VFS centre early, possibly at 8 AM when it opens so you have enough time to make changes to your application if needed. You also need to wait for them to confirm with the embassy about visa fees.
I will summarise the costs here,
- Visa fees: ₹12960
- Legalisation fee: ₹1440
- VFS Global service charge: ₹1080
- Visa Contribution: €160
- Have extra ₹1000 for courier and misc fees.
VFS only accepts cash, so be aware.
Best of Luck!
Exported from Medium on June 18, 2018.