The main condition required to move to Belgium from South Africa is to apply for the right type of long-stay visa. The D visa types as well as the C type allow foreign nationals to remain in the country for more than 90 days and these are the ones that are used by those who are interested to relocate. Moving to a new country does present a set of challenges, however, with the help of our team the entire process can run smoothly and your transition will be as easy as possible.
A Belgium immigration lawyer can help you follow all of the key steps for applying for a visa as well as handling all of the post-arrival steps.
In this article, we discuss only the basic requirements for visa applications and post-arrival steps for those who wish to move to Belgium from South Africa. Please feel free to reach out to our specialists if you have particular questions or if your family situation presents different aspects that need to be taken into consideration.
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What are the long stay visas for Belgium?
There are two types of long-stay visas for those who wish to move to Belgium from South Africa. These are the D visa (which includes several sub-categories) and the C visa which is issued for legal cohabitation or marriage in Belgium. The D visa used to move to Belgium from South Africa can be issued for purposes such as:
- Work: for South African nationals who have entered into an employment contract with a Belgian employer;
- Study: for those who have been accepted to a Belgian University, in any of the three regions of the country, such as KU Leuven.
- Family reunification: for South Africans who have a family member who is already lawfully living in Belgium (is a resident or has already obtained citizenship).
The three relocation reasons are common for those who are interested in moving to Belgium. If you are interested in the C visa type for marriage or cohabitation purposes, our team can provide you with more details on this as well.
South African nationals who reside in Belgium for at least 5 years can apply for Belgian citizenship. Other conditions include social integration, social participation, as well as a satisfactory level of knowledge of one of the three languages recognized in Belgium. The minimum lawful stay is shorter if the applicant is married to a Belgian citizen or is the parent of a Belgian minor child.
Where does one apply for a long stay visa?
South African nationals who wish to apply for the D or C visa need to do so with the Visa Application Centre in Johannesburg or the Belgian Consulate in Cape Town. Those who reside in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape or Namibia can apply in Cape Town while those who reside in Gauteng, Limpopo, North-West, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe or Mozambique can apply in Johannesburg.
Our Belgium immigration agents can provide you with more information on where to apply for a Belgium residence permit if you reach out to us and provide information about your place of residence.
You should apply for a visa as soon as you have decided to move to Belgium from South Africa. We recommend applying as soon as possible because the verification process may take up to more than a month and in some cases, expedited delivery is not possible. Our team can help you submit all of the documents in due time so that this time will be reduced to a minimum.
An important issue to take into consideration is the fee applicable applying for certain long-term visas in order to move to Belgium from South Africa:
- the handling fee is the equivalent of 180 Euros in local currency;
- the current value for the contribution, payable in addition to the handling fee is 358 Euros;
- the applicant must provide proof of payment and, if he is unable to pay the whole fee at the same time, he has 30 days to make the remaining transfer.
It is important to note that reimbursements are not possible in the event in which the visa is refused. Our team can provide details on the costs generally associated with applying for the residence permit.
Our Belgium immigration lawyer can provide more information on the visa fees and other expected costs on request.
What are the documents required for a long-stay visa?
The list of required documents will depend on the type of visa. The following list applies for a work permit application for those who wish to move to Belgium from South Africa:
- the original passport and copies;
- the visa application form, filled in accordingly, dated and signed;
- two recent passport-size colored photographs;
- proof of payment of the administration and contribution fees;
- the employment contract;
- other documents such as a medical certificate and the police clearance (which must be issued 6 months prior to the visa application date).
Please note that this is only a general list of documents for individuals who arrive in the country for employment purposes. Those who will study in Belgium will provide different documentation, most notably their proof of enrollment with a certain university. Our Belgium immigration specialist can offer more details on the required documents, both the general ones and the visa-specific ones. We can provide details for entrepreneurs who are interested in obtaining Belgium residency by investment, as well as for those who are already living lawfully in the country and are ready to apply for Belgian citizenship.
Our team offers personalized solutions to foreign nationals who wish to relocate to Belgium. If you are not a South African citizen and have questions about the requirements that may apply in your case, our team will answer your questions about the residence permit in Belgium. You can also contact us for other matters, such as making the needed registrations once you settle in.
Contact our immigration lawyer if you wish to know more about the conditions for moving to Belgium from South Africa.