Belgium’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians

Belgium’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians
Bruges, Belgium. Photo by Matt Graham.

If you’re an Australian aged between 18 and 30 years old, you can apply for a Working Holiday visa to stay in Belgium for up to 12 months!

This visa allows you to live and work in Belgium, travel within the Schengen Area, leave & re-enter Belgium and the Schengen Area as often as you like, and study in Belgium for up to 3 months.

This page contains information about the Belgian Working Holiday Visa for Australian citizens. It was last updated on 23 August 2021.

As of 20 April 2021, Belgium is allowing entry for Australian residents and anyone with EU residency/citizenship (including working holiday visa holders), although some COVID-19 entry requirements still apply (e.g. there is a mandatory form you’ll need to fill out).

Please note that Australian citizens may still require an exemption from the Australian government to leave Australia in 2021.

Key facts about Belgium

  • Population: Approx. 12 million
  • Official languages: Flemish (Dutch), French and German (many Belgians are multilingual, but the main language spoken depends on the region)
  • Capital city: Brussels
  • Largest cities: Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Liège
  • Name of the country in its official languages: België (Dutch), Belgique (French) or Belgien (German)
  • Currency: Euro

Belgium Working Holiday Scheme requirements for Australians

Belgium offers working holiday visas to citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea & Taiwan. The information on this page is applicable to Australian citizens and may be different for other nationalities.

To apply for a Belgian Working Holiday Visa as an Australian citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Aged between 18-30 years old (inclusive) at the time of application
  • Have at least €2,500 (approx. AUD4,000) in savings
  • Have a valid return plane ticket to Belgium, or enough money to buy one
  • Submit a medical certificate issued by a medical doctor appointed by the Belgian embassy in Australia (you may need to undergo a medical examination to demonstrate you have no diseases that could endanger public health)
  • Produce a document vouching for your good character

You cannot apply for this visa if you:

  • Have already applied for a visa under the Belgian working holiday scheme

Although you are allowed to work in Belgium with a working holiday visa, your primary reason for coming to Belgium should be for a holiday. Any work should be incidental and not the main purpose of travelling to Belgium.

Documents needed to apply for this visa

When applying for a Working Holiday Visa for Belgium as an Australian citizen, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Two completed and signed long stay visa application forms
  • Two passport-sized photographs
  • Your valid Australian passport
  • A receipt proving you have paid the visa fee (see below)
  • An original National Criminal History Record Check (Name check) from the past six months. This must be legalised by the Australian government with an Apostille stamp.
  • A recent medical certificate provided by a doctor appointed by the Belgian embassy, stating that you do not suffer from any contagious diseases (such as tuberculosis). You will need to obtain a blood test and chest x-ray, then present the results to the designated doctor who will provide a signed letter to the Belgian embassy. The embassy will also need to legalise the doctor’s signature, which attracts a $34 fee.
  • Bank statement/s in your name proving you have at least the equivalent of €2,500 in funds
  • A flight itinerary with a return flight to Belgium, or a one-way flight plus proof of at least €1,000 in additional funds to buy a return ticket
  • Either proof of travel/health insurance valid in Belgium, or a copy of your Australian Medicare card valid for at least 3 months after you intend to leave Belgium. (Australia and Belgium have a reciprocal health care agreement.)

There is a visa fee of AUD306 (this amount is subject to change). This can be paid by providing your credit card details to the Belgian embassy. Alternatively, you can pay by money order, bank draft, or if attending the Belgian embassy in Canberra personally, by cash.

For your passport to be returned, you will also need to provide a self-addressed Registered Post or Express Post envelope which is large enough to fit all documents. Alternatively, if you are paying by credit card, the embassy will arrange return postage and charge a small fee to your credit card for this.

More information is available on the Belgian embassy’s website.

How to apply for a Belgian Working Holiday Visa

As an Australian citizen, you will need to apply through the Embassy of Belgium in Australia, which is located in Canberra. However, you are not required to physically attend the embassy. Instead, you can apply by sending all of the required documents by Registered Post or Express Post to the Belgian embassy in Canberra.

Please see the embassy website for the postal address and more details. In particular, check the document called “General Info for all Visa D applicants”.

The embassy says that the usual visa processing time is around 1 month.

Arriving in Belgium

You should travel to Belgium within 3 months of your visa being issued. Once you arrive, there’s one final step.

You must visit the local town hall (gemeente/commune) within 8 days of arrival in Belgium to register with the local authorities. Bring your passport and the documents you submitted when applying for your visa.

At the town hall, you’ll be issued with a residence card, called a “Certificat d’inscription au registre de étrangers” (CIRE) in French or “Bewijs van inschrijving in het vreemdelingeregister” (BIVR) in Dutch/Flemish. This card acts as your residence permit and allows you to stay in Belgium and travel freely within the Schengen Area.

While best efforts are made to keep this information updated, we do not guarantee its accuracy. If you spot an error, would like to suggest new information to be added or simply have a question, please let us know in the comments and we’ll endeavour to respond or update the article as quickly as possible!

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