Depending on whether your internship is longer than 3 months or not determines on which of the two types of visa you will need.
INTERNSHIPS LASTING LESS THAN 3 MONTHS
- Passport/travel document with space for a visa to be added and valid for at least 3 months after length of the visa.
- Visa application form http://www.diplomatie.be/en/pdf/visa.pdf filled out correctly, signed and with two recent passport sized photographs.
- Documentation showing purpose of trip from the company or organization where the internship will be, showing aim and length of internship, compensation information, and expense payment information (food, accommodation etc), and whether they will be taken care of by the company/organization.
- You may also be required to get a work permit. To find out if this is the case, your company/organisation must contact their regional employment service (FOREM, VDAB, or ORBEM/BGDA – see below for contact details).
- Documentation proving sufficient means of subsistence for the whole stay either by yourself (hotel reservations, recent bank statement, cash etc.), or from the company/organization for which you will be interning. A guarantor will need to provide you with a pledge of financial support (Annex 3bis) which is a form they can get from their local municipality, fill out, have ratified by the community, and then send to you to accompany your application within 6 months of being issued. The guarantor should also provide their last 3 pay slips or documents proving their solvency, as well as a document showing their Belgian citizenship or residency.
- Travel insurance for the whole Schengen region of at least 30,000€ covering the cost of hospitalization, treatment and medical repatriation.
- Return transportation (air ticket etc) for travel to and from Belgium. Can be provided once visa is approved.
INTERNSHIPS LASTING MORE THAN 3 MONTHS
The process for obtaining this visa is practically the same as applying for a work visa.
- Travel document/Passport valid for at least 12 months, with space for a visa.
- Two completed visa applications http://www.diplomatie.be/en/pdf/visa.pdf, signed and with two recent passport sized photos.
- Original valid type B work permit (permis de travail B/arbeidskaart B) that your employer in Belgium must request (see below).*
- Judicial record no older than 6 months covering the last 5 years of your life showing any criminal records etc. This can be obtained from the relevant authorities, eg, in the United States it must be obtained from FBI records.
- A medical certificate http://www.diplomatie.be/en/pdf/medischattesten.pdf filled out by a doctor approved by the embassy or consulate no older than six months (only in case you did not apply for a work permit). A medical certificate is not required if you have already submitted this at the time of application for a work permit.
Additional documentation may be requested by the embassy once the application is being reviewed. Documents issued outside Belgium must be legalized or be accompanied by an apostille depending on which country you are coming from unless there is a treaty exempting this process. This information can be obtained by asking the embassy/consulate handling your case. All documents not in Dutch, French, German or English must also be translated by a sworn translator.
*The company managing your internship in Belgium must request an employer permit (autorisation d’occupation/arbeidsvergunning) and a work permit (permis de travail/arbeidskaart) from the relevant sub-regional employment service depending on where the company’s head office is established (VDAB, FOREM or ORBEM/BGDA). Long-term internships, especially those that are paid, are treated the same as a job, so a work permit is required and the company must follow the same procedures as if they were hiring an employee.
European Union citizens do not need work permits, with the exception of new member states where a transition period exists. More information on this can be found at http://www.meta.fgov.be/
The company managing your internship needs to apply for a work permit for you from the relevant sub-regional employment service (FOREM, VDAB, or ORBEM/BGDA) depending on where the company is located:
Ministere de la Region Bruxelles Capitale
Administratie Economie et Emploi
Rue du Progress 80
Tel: +32 (0) 2 204 2111
Ministere vand de Vlaamse Gemeenschap
Tel: +32 (0) 2 507 4367
Ministere de la Region Wallone
Direction generale de l’Economie et de l’Emploi
Place de la Wallonie 1
Tel: +32 (0) 81 33 3700
People working for a public authority (eg. federal body or state, province or municipality), public law organisation established in Belgium and whose status is governed by a treaty in force, eg NATO, European Union, or for a programme approved by such an organisation do not need work permits.
Spouses of nationals from the EEA and Belgian nationals do not require work permits, though newer EEA member states may require a transitional period.
PROCESSING THE APPLICATION
It is advisable to apply as early as possible in the event there may be delays in the processing of the application and may take over a month for the visa to be issued.
When the application is complete, it is sent, in some instances, to the Immigration Service at Federal Public Service Home Affairs in Belgium, which decides whether or not a visa may be issued (Chaussée d’Anvers 59B Antwerpsesteenweg, B-1000 Brussels, Tel.: +32 (0)2 206 15 99, Fax: +32 (0)2 02/274.66.91, email@example.com, http://www.dofi.fgov.be).
If the visa is issued, you must go in person to the municipal authority in your place of residence within eight days of your arrival in Belgium.
General information can also be found at http://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/services/travel_to_belgium/visa_for_belgium/long_stay/working/paid_employment