If you are a foreign resident living in Belgium, you may be eligible for a Belgian passport if you qualify for Belgian citizenship. Discover more about the Belgian passport requirements, renewal process and more with this guide.
Belgium is an EU country which permits dual nationality, which means that you won’t have to give up your original nationality unless your home country requires you to. A Belgian passport will enable you to travel freely across the EU and will mean that you can travel worldwide as an EU citizen.
This guide to Belgian passports will include information on:
- The benefits of a Belgian passport
- Belgian passport eligibility
- How to apply for a Belgian passport
- Renewing or replacing a Belgian passport
- Belgian passport costs
The Belgian passport
The Belgian passport is a biometric passport with an electronic chip containing the passport holder’s key personal details. Belgium was one of the first countries to start issuing electronic passports back in 2004 and the new biometric passport including fingerprints was issued in 2014. The standard Belgian passport is a burgundy-coloured booklet, like many European passports, that comes in either 35-page or 60-page format. The main page will feature the holder’s photograph, signature, key personal information and passport ID number.
Passports in Belgium are issued by the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs and the following types of Belgian passport are available:
- Standard Belgian biometric passport issued to all citizens.
- Diplomatic passport issued to state officials and members of the Belgian Royal Family.
- Service passport issued to civil servants carrying out official duties abroad.
- Temporary passport issued in emergency conditions. This is a green passport valid for only 6 months.
Belgian passport benefits
Upon becoming a Belgian citizen, getting a Belgian passport is optional. All Belgian citizens and permanent residents are issued with an electronic ID card which enables you to travel around 50 countries including across the EU, but a Belgian passport enables you to:
- leave and re-enter Belgium as many times as you wish without restrictions while the passport is valid
- travel around the world as a Belgian and EU citizen
- have dual nationality and own two valid passports, providing your home country permits dual nationality
- travel to 117 different countries visa-free. The Belgian passport ranking is 16th in the world on the Passport Index
See our guide to Belgian citizenship and permanent residence for more information on the benefits of Belgian citizenship.
Belgian passport eligibility
Belgian passport eligibility is based on Belgian citizenship which you can get after 5-10 years of living in the country. Additional Belgian passport requirements include knowledge of one of the three main languages spoken in Belgium and proof of social and economic integration. See our guide to Belgian citizenship for more details.
Applying for a Belgian passport
If you wish to apply for a Belgian passport, you can do so through either:
- your local municipality in Belgium if you are a Belgian resident
- the Belgian embassy or consulate in your home country if you are living overseas
You will need to provide proof of identity (such as your Belgian ID card) along with your previous passport if you are applying to renew your Belgian passport. You will also need to provide your signature along with your biometric information (digital photograph and fingerprints). Passports for children under the age of 18 need to be signed by the child (from the age of six) as well as by a parent or legal guardian.
Belgian passports are usually issued within five working days of the documents and relevant information being received. Applicants within Belgium are required to collect their passport from their local municipal office if they can, otherwise, they need to send an authorised individual to collect. Recently a new fast-track service has been introduced where Belgian passports can be issued within 24 hours for an additional fee.
Renewing a Belgian passport
Belgian passports are valid for 7 years (5 years for children). You will need to renew your Belgian passport if it has expired or is near expiry, or if the photograph in your passport no longer resembles you.
It is the same process for Belgian passport renewal as it is for getting an original Belgian passport, but you will need to provide the Belgian authorities with your existing passport.
If you lose your Belgian passport or it is stolen, you should contact the authorities immediately. The procedures depend on where you are at the time your passport is lost or stolen.
- If you are in Belgium, you should immediately notify the policy or your local municipality and call Doc-Stop on 00800 2123 2123 straight away to prevent fraudulent use of your Belgian passport
- If you are on holiday abroad, notify the local police immediately and call Doc-Stop on +32 2518 2123. If you need a Belgian passport to return to Belgium, contact the Belgian embassy or consulate in the country you are visiting. If there is no Belgian embassy or consulate, contact one from another EU country
- If you live abroad, notify the local police immediately and call Doc-Stop on +32 2518 2123. You can also notify your embassy or consulate about the loss/theft.
Belgian passport costs
Current Belgian passport costs are:
- Standard passport (32 pages) is 65 EUR for adults and 35 EUR for children
- 64-page passport is 240 EUR for adults and 210 EUR for children
- Passport issued through the fast-track next day service is 240 EUR for adults and 210 EUR for children
- Belgian passports issued abroad through a Belgian embassy or consulate are 240 EUR for adults and 210 EUR for children
Belgian passports for foreigners issued abroad in a Belgian embassy or consulate need to be paid for in the local currency at the current exchange rate.
Making a complaint about a defective Belgian passport
If you believe that your Belgian passport is defective – e.g. some of it is unclear or unreadable or there is a damage to the electronic chip – you can ask for a free replacement if your passport is less than a year old or if the defect is in the transparent sheet that has come away. You should contact your local municipality (or embassy or consulate if you live abroad). If you have suffered a financial loss due to a production defect in your Belgian passport, you can apply for compensation by filling in this form here.