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Before you are authorised to carry out an activity as a researcher in Belgium, you must obtain a long stay visa (type D).


Where and how to apply

To be able to apply for a long stay visa as a researcher, you must first sign a hosting agreement with an approved research organisation in Belgium. More information on the conditions for the hosting agreement, can be found here. The hosting agreement form, duly filled out and signed by the two parties, must be attached to the application submitted to a Belgian diplomatic post or consulate for a stay permit of over three months in Belgium.

A researcher coming to Belgium in the framework of such an agreement is exempt from the work permit requirement.

Visa and residence permit

You must submit your application to the embassy or consulate in your country of origin or residence. Your request can be referred for clearance to the Immigration Office of the Federal Public Service Home Affairs, which takes the final decision.

Documents required

Visa and residence permit

You must present a valid passport, a hosting agreement with an approved research organisation in Belgium, a medical certificate and a certificate attesting to the lack of any convictions for crimes or offences under common law (an extract from the judicial records or, failing that, an equivalent document issued by a judicial or administrative authority in the country of origin or residence).

Further requirements

Visa and residence permit

Upon arrival in Belgium, you have eight working days to contact the municipal authorities of your place of residence to obtain an Electronic Foreigner Card type A.

Duration of validity of permit

Visa and residence permit

The residence permit is valid for the duration of the research project, as laid down in the hosting agreement.


Visa and residence permit

If your application for a visa is refused, you can appeal against the decision before the Council for Alien Law Litigation within 30 days of notification of the decision.

Further information

More on scientific visa. Also information available in French and Dutch on the website of the Immigration Office.


Change of employment

No data currently available.
Employment during researchNot applicable.
Long-term residenceResearchers ordinarily do not fulfil the conditions to receive long-term residence status, as their stay is de facto limited. General conditions apply.