At present, many non-EU citizens do not need a travel permit to visit Europe. Once in the Schengen Zone, tourists are able to move freely without hard borders.
As of 2022, visa-exempt citizens who wish to travel to Belgium will need an ETIAS visa waiver for Belgium. This travel authorisation will be an entry requirement to visit countries that make up the Schengen Area. It is important to note that ETIAS is not a visa. It is an electronic travel authorisation that will be made available through an online application.
The European Travel Information and Authorisation System, or ETIAS, is a visa waiver program that is meant to strengthen the borders of the Schengen zone. The system will keep a record and pre-screening all non-EU visitors who wish to enter and travel throughout Europe.
The ETIAS system will screen all applicants prior to their arrival in Belgium. After visitors are approved for a Belgium ETIAS they are able to move freely throughout the Schengen zone for up to 90 days.
The process of getting an ETIAS authorisation will be fairly simple and quick. The visa waiver does not just apply for Belgium but it will be needed to travel to any country within the Schengen area.
Belgium, the EU, and the Schengen Area
Belgium is found in Western Europe. Officially, people in Belgium use these languages; Dutch, French, and German.
Brussels is the capital city, which houses NATO and the European Union headquarters.
Belgium has a strong global economy and its currency is the euro. Belgium was one of the first countries to make up the European Union and it signed the Schengen Agreement in 1985.
The Schengen Area is made up of 26 countries and its purpose is to function as one jurisdiction for international travel. Once the area is entered, a visitor can travel around without hard borders or additional passport controls. As a part of the Schengen zone, tourists who visit Belgium can travel to any of the other Schengen countries.
Who needs ETIAS to travel to Belgium?
Once the system is in place, citizens of non-EU countries will have to apply to ETIAS before travelling to Belgium. Even those who are currently allowed to travel to Europe visa-free will need an ETIAS in 2022.
ETIAS Belgium oversees all applicants who wish to enter Belgium or another country found within the Schengen Area. Once applicants are deemed non-threatening, they are able to travel within the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days.
The ETIAS allows visitors to travel the entirety of the Schengen Zone for tourist, business, medical, and transit reasons. Currently, there are over 60 countries that are required to apply for an ETIAS if they wish to travel to Europe.
Passport and Document Requirements for Belgium ETIAS
While the application process is straightforward, it is important to prepare all the documents beforehand. The requirements to apply for a Belgium ETIAS are as follows:
- Valid passport
- Issue and expiry dates
- Minimum validity of three months from the date of arrival
- Brief medical history
- Education and work experience
- Any previous visits to war zones
- Criminal record (if applicable)
- Any prior countries that applicant was deported or rejected from
It is worth noting that guardians have to complete an application for any minors under their care. Additionally, those with family members who are EU citizens will have to submit proof of relationship, residence card, and/or other background details.
How can I apply for Belgium ETIAS?
The ETIAS application is simple and easy to complete. Applicants can fill out their registration form from home or anywhere with internet access.
Once the ETIAS requirements for Belgium are met, the applications process begins. This takes about 10 minutes and is done online. Expect to answer the following to complete the application:
- Biometric information
- First and last names
- Last name at birth
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Current address
- Email address and phone number
- The name of the EU country that will be entered upon arrival
- Payment for the application fee
Travel information about Belgium
Belgium is famous for medieval towns and Renaissance architecture. The capital is Brussels which is known as the historical centre of the region. Travellers will encounter the European Union Headquarters, NATO, and regal parliament buildings.
History buffs will find the medieval cities of Bruges and Ghent charming. With rivers in both cities and architecture dating back to the 13th century, it is sure to be a memorable experience. Antwerp is another port city that goes back to the Middle Ages. It is home to the Diamond District that used to house diamond traders and cutters in the earlier centuries.
Those with a sweet tooth will be eager to taste all the rich, Belgian chocolate. The country is also famous for street food like waffles and fries, both of which should not be overlooked. Of course, Belgium beer is one of the most sought-after beverages to try while visiting.