Passport and visa
Is your passport valid for the whole duration of your journey? Do you have the visas you need? Your airline will verify this during check-in and cannot allow you to board the flight if your papers are not OK.
- As obtaining a visa can take several days, make sure you have what you need well in advance. Your airline or travel agent can advise you on such matters.
- Do not forget that children too must hold the necessary identity papers.
Compulsory online registration for travellers to the US: ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)
Most passengers from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program need a valid passport to travel to the US but are not required to obtain a visa. The Visa Waiver Program applies to the citizens of most European countries including Belgium and neighbouring countries The Netherlands, Luxemburg, France and the United Kingdom. Where until 12 January 2009 these passengers were requested to fill in a Visa Waiver form on board their flight or upon their arrival in the US, a compulsory online procedure now applies.
- Travellers under the Visa Waiver Program have to obtain a travel authorisation prior to starting their trip to the US. This authorisation may be obtained online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). Obtaining the authorisation is a strict requirement for entry into the US.
- If an application for travel authorization is denied (for Belgian passengers less than 1%) and the traveller wishes to continue with the trip, he/she will be required to apply for a visa at the US Embassy.
You are strongly advised to apply for an ESTA travel authorisation several days prior to your departure date. This will leave sufficient time to apply for a visa, if necessary.
Copies of documents
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of all travel documents, prescriptions, records of travellers' cheques, etc. separately. A set of extra passport photos may also prove very useful.
Booths for instant passport (ID) photos can be found in the departures hall, in the arrivals hall and on the 4th floor.
Medical certificates & prescriptions
Inoculation and vaccination certificates may be needed for your trip (your airline or travel agent will advise you accordingly). Such procedures must of course be completed in advance.
Make sure you have an adequate supply of any prescription medication and a copy of the prescription with you. Always pack these items in your hand luggage. There is a pharmacy at Brussels Airport.
Airlines usually refuse to carry passengers after their 36th week of pregnancy. A medical certificate is required after the 28th week.
Tips by the Federal Police
- For more useful information with regard to identity cards, passports, visas etc... please refer to the website of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs www.diplomatie.belgium.be.
- If your documents turn out to be lost or stolen at the airport, you are advised to immediately report this to the federal police at the airport.