1. Visa

Do international students need a visa?

Source: https://www.kuleuven.be/english/life-at-ku-leuven/immigration-residence

People with a foreign nationality coming over to Belgium may need the following documents: a visa/entry document or a residence permit. Which specific documents you need, and how to apply for them, depends on your situation. If you have family members accompanying you during your stay they might require these documents as well.

Visa and travel for EEA and non-EEA students

EEA nationals and Swiss nationals do not need a visa to enter Belgium.

Non-EEA nationals follow different procedures depending on the length of stay:

What is the proof of solvency?

When applying for a visa or a residence permit, students are asked to prove their solvency. Depending on the country, one of the following proofs of solvency may apply:

  • A document certifying that the student has been awarded a study grant or scholarship 
  • An agreement for acceptance of financial responsibility (letter of a guarantee) by the so-called Annex 32 (can be done from your home country or in Belgium)
  • A proof of your own financial means by transferring a certain amount to a blocked bank account in Belgium on your name. If you would like to use the last option (prove your own financial means), LUCA School of Arts can help you and provide a letter by which you can prove your solvency. More info: https://www.luca-arts.be/en/blocked-account

2. Blocked account

Where can I find more information on the blocked account procedure of LUCA School of Arts?

The procedure on how to calculate the total amount and wire it to the LUCA bank account is described here. Once the transaction is completed, the Student Accounting Department will inform the Admissions Office, who will produce an official letter ‘proof of solvency’. This document, in which the blocked account transfer is confirmed, will be added to your visa application.

Is blocked account the only procedure to prove solvency?

No, it’s not. There are two alternative options: one is a scholarship certificate. A second option is a financial guarantor via the financial guarantee form (Annex 32) which is still accepted. However, since the Belgian government will tighten the conditions for someone to act as a guarantor, LUCA recommends not to use this procedure.

Can money for a blocked account used to cover tuition fees?

No, the money for blocked account is only destined for covering your living expenses (housing, food, transport, leisure, ...) and cannot be used for covering your tuition fees.

Will the blocked account money cover everything or should I bring extra money?

We advise students to still bring cash or a personal credit card to help you pay certain expenses during the first months of living.  Don't forget it can take several weeks before you can open a Belgian bank account.

Can I use the blocked account for my residence permit (ID-card) renewal?

Yes, you can. The procedure is almost the same as for obtaining a visa, except that you need to provide a copy of your current ID-card in addition to the other documents. The amount to be deposited is different. (the Proof of Solvency for renewing your residence card covers 12 months whereas the Proof of Solvency for a visa application covers 13 months).