Travel documents to visit Europe

Travel documents for EU nationals

As of 1st of January 2018, Belgian law requires airlines to perform a conformity check between the name on your boarding pass and the name on your identity card or passport.

  • All travellers need to be in possession of an identity card or passport when boarding, including children.

You will only be accepted to board your flight if the names on your boarding pass and your identity card or passport match. This verification will be performed on all operated flights to and from Brussels, also on intra-Schengen flights.

Travel documents for non-EU nationals

If you are a non-EU national wishing to visit or travel within the European Union, you will need a passport:

  • valid for at least 3 months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting,

  • which was issued within the previous 10 years,

  • and possibly a visa

Who needs a visa?

  • There are many countries whose nationals do not need a visa to visit the EU for three months or less. 

    • You can check it at the consulate or embassy that represent the Schengen State you intend to visit

  • The list of countries whose nationals require visas to travel to the United Kingdom or Ireland differs slightly from other EU countries.Entry conditions to the United Kingdom or Ireland are based on their respective national law and differ from the EU rules.

How should I apply for a visa?

  • Apply for a visa in the country where you live, going to the consulate or embassy of the EU country you would like to visit. If your visa is from a “Schengen area” country, it automatically allows you to travel to the other Schengen countries as well.

    • You must lodge the application for a Schengen visa at the Consulate of the country that you intend to visit, or – if you intend to visit more than one Schengen State, the Consulate of the country where you will spend the longest period.

    • The application must, in principle, be submitted to the Consulate at least 15 days before the intended journey and cannot be lodged earlier than three months before the start of the intended journey. You may have to book an appointment before lodging the application.

  • If you have a valid residence permit from one of those Schengen countries, it is equivalent to a visa. You may need a national visa to visit non-Schengen countries.

    Other documents

  • Do not forget your travel, health and car insurance documents.

  • Border officials in EU countries may ask for other supporting documents such as an invitation letter, proof of lodging, return or round-trip ticket. For the precise requirements contact the local consular services of the EU country in question


Sources: European Commission and Belgium-based airlines