By Vera Samuel Anyagafu
THE immediate past Ambassador of the kingdom of Belgium, Michael Dewez, recently affirmed to the fact that with his country housing the headquarter of European Union and Nigeria, being the center of west Africa, both countries stand to gain from more cooperation which brought about re-opening of talks towards re-establishing direct flights with Nigeria

Belgian High Commission in Nigeria is among embassies that have outsourced visa processing to VFS Global with a view to maintaining a mutual relationship and ensuring convenience for the ever increasing number of Nigerians that apply for legal entry into Belgium for different purposes.

The Consulate however maintains that intending travelers to their Country are not denied any type of visa except for reasons of uncompleted information and forged documents, thereby, discouraging sharp practices of touts at the embassies.

Prospective Nigeria travelers to Belgium have been assured of  more convenient visa centers with well trained staff who provide professional assistance while leaving its doors open to assist applicants where necessary.

Applicants for diverse types of visas which range from study, work permit, visiting, business related issues, religious, conferences, residence permit etc, who follow the Consulate’s guidelines in addition to supplying accurate documents, stand the chance of being issued visa.

All completed applications are to be submitted at the VFS application centers authorized by the Belgium Consulate, except those who fall within the category of  Diplomatic passport Holders, spouses/husbands of EU citizens, children of EU citizen, who are to submit theirs directly at the embassy. Unless  they voluntarily wish to submit their application forms at the visa application centers, which is accompanied with a compulsory service charge, which they must pay.

Invitation for interviews comes next, if the need arises and those applying for student  and family reunion visas should be informed  that at any given time they will be called upon for interviews at the Commission’s office in Abuja.

In cases of minors, it is mandatory that parents or guardians accompany them during submission of applications.

…Pre requisites for visas

If your application is in line with steps stated below as laid down by the embassy, be sure to have your visa processed in due time, ignoring these basics is like denying yourself a visa:

–    Complete and signed visa application form
–    Original Passport and clear copy of your current passport
–    Supporting documentation as per relevant checklist
–    Receipt of visa Application Fee and VFS service charge as applicable to your visa type.

Application Centers are open  between the hours of 8am in the morning to 1pm, Mondays to Fridays, except on holidays that are  observed by the Belgium embassy and the Federal Government of Nigeria and you are advised to give the embassy a minimum of 15 to 20 days for the processing of your visas  beginning from the day of submission.

As we progress, we shall be discussing the diverse types of Belgium visas for the purpose of your travel but have it at the back of your mind that foreigners who travel to Belgium and decides to get married to a Belgian should not automatically expect to receive Belgian nationality. Prior to applying for a Belgian nationality, it is expected that you must have been living with your spouse at the time of application, depending on your residence rights, both of you must have been living for a certain period of time, while they expect each of you to satisfy certain conditions as stated below:

-Both of you must have lived together for at least a period of three years in Belgium and this condition applies if at the time of application, the foreigner is without an authorization to stay or settle in Belgium for more than three months.

-Both of you must have lived together for at least 6 months in Belgium and this condition applies only if at the time of the application, you have authorization to settle or remain in Belgium for more than three months.

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