APS certificate (only for mainland Chinese citizens)
I am a mainland Chinese citizen. Do I need the APS (Akademische Prüfstelle) certificate?
All mainland Chinese citizens who are not in the possession of a foreign degree, or have not completed any courses at a university in another country than China, need to go through the APS procedure to obtain the APS certificate in order to apply for a student visa for Belgium. These students cannot get a Belgian student visa without this certificate.
Mainland Chinese students who hold a non-Chinese degree, or who have completed some courses in the framework of an official exchange programme at a university in another country than China (and can provide transcripts to prove this) do not have to go through the APS procedure. Non-Chinese citizens who have obtained a degree in P.R.China also do not need to go through the APS procedure. Citizens of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao do not need to go through the APS procedure.
What is the APS procedure?
The APS procedure consists of two parts:
1) Verification of documents (by mail): diplomas, certificates, and reviews of exam results, language tests etc. are subjected to an authenticity test. For this reason, either the student's home institution will be contacted, or databases of graduates issued by the Chinese Ministry of Education will be consulted.
2) Academic interview (in Beijing or before a travelling jury): testing the knowledge of the language and defining the student's level.
Do I need to submit an APS certificate at the time of my application?
Since the APS procedure is such a costly procedure, we recommend that applicants wait until they have received a positive outcome on their application at our School of Arts and only then start the APS procedure. We do not require the APS certificate at the time of application.
Do please note that there can be a long waiting list for the APS interview, so it is recommended to apply for APS about 3 months before you intend to apply for a visa.
Can I be exempted from the APS procedure?
There are two types of exemptions:
1. Complete exemptions: Students who get a complete exemption, don’t have to take part in the procedure at all. They don’t have to take the interview, nor do the document verification.
2. Partial exemptions: Students who get a partial exemption, are exempted from taking the interview, but still need to do the document verification.
The following students can be exempted from the complete procedure:
- Students admitted to our School of Arts in the framework of a bilateral agreement between their home university and LUCA.
- Students who hold a CSC scholarship.
- Students who hold an Erasmus Mundus or Erasmus+ scholarship.
The following students can get a partial exemption, and are therefore exempted from taking the interview:
- Students who are admitted to a PhD programme or predoctoral programme at LUCA, but only on the condition that the promotor at LUCA organizes a replacement interview.
- Students who are already residing in Belgium (and are in the possession of a Belgian residence permit) at the time of admission to our university. Please note that in some exceptional cases the APS center might still decide to request the student to complete the APS interview as well, based on specific reasons set forth by the APS center itself.
Speciale note for students applying for Bachelor's programmes at our School of Arts:
Mainland Chinese students admitted to a Bachelor’s programme at our School of Arts also have to submit the APS certificate upon application for a study visa to Belgium. The APS center only takes applications for the APS procedure into consideration if the following criteria are met:
- If you are a student at a university listed in ‘project 211’: the applicant needs to have obtained a sufficient score on the National Examination (Gaokao) and needs to have succesfully completed at least one semester at this university listed in ‘project 211’.
- If you are a student at a university that is not listed in ‘project 211’: the applicant needs to have obtained a sufficient score on the National Examination (Gaokao) and needs to have succesfullly completed at least three semesters at this university.
If the applicant for the APS certificate doesn’t meet any of the above two requirements, the APS centre will not be able to accept the application. Thus the student will not be able to obtain an APS certificate and will not be able to obtain a student visa for Belgium.
Where can I register for APS?
You can register for the APS procedure, and find all information regarding the procedure on the APS website.