ESTA for Belgian Citizens -

ESTA for Belgian Citizens

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Belgium has been a member of the Visa Waiver Program since 1990 and as part of the agreement with the US, Belgian citizens are able to apply for an ESTA as a simpler and faster alternative to applying for a visa.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

  • For visits limited to 90 days
  • Required for travellers either flying or arriving by sea to the US
  • ESTA is issued for two years (or until passport expiry)
  • Can be used for tourism, business, medical or transit
  • Children must have their own ESTA
  • Can be used for multiple visits to the US
  • Used with a biometric passport
Application for Belgian Citizens

Benefits of Applying for ESTA for Belgian Citizens

There are many benefits for the citizens of Belgium who enjoy travelling and want to visit the US. The ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an online form that is fast and easy to complete and submit. It provides alternative travel authorization to a traditional US visa, which would take considerably longer to apply for and process.

The ESTA is so quick to apply for that it can normally be around 10 minutes to complete the form and then the confirmation email can also be very quick to state whether the application has been accepted to declined. Under the ESTA terms, citizens of Belgium are able to visit the US for business, tourism, transit and medical purposes for stays of up to 90 days at once.

When an ESTA is approved, it will be valid for two years, or until the related passport expires, whichever date comes sooner. During this time, the ESTA can be used for multiple trips to the US, and is only required for entering the US, so there are no restrictions around which states you can visit once in the US.

The ESTA is electronically linked to the applicant’s passport and when they enter the US border, the agents will be able to see on their system that there is a valid ESTA attached to the passport.

How Belgian Citizens Can Apply for ESTA

Belgian citizens just require a valid passport, an email address and a card to pay their ESTA application fee. They will need to complete all of the mandatory sections of the application form before paying and submitting it. It is very important to check the details before sending the application, as any errors could determine that the application is declined.

The applicant will need to fill in their passport details, personal information and contact details, as well as information regarding their health and any criminal convictions. This is part of the pre-screening process that the Department of Homeland Security conduct as part of their security measures.

Passport Requirements for Belgian Travelers

To travel under the Visa Waver programme, the following passport requirements must be met:

  • The passport must be valid for at least six months after the visitor's trip to the USA ends;
  • It must be electronic, with a digital chip containing the holder's biometric information;
  • It also must be machine-readable and include a biographical page with the passenger's personal details, such as name, birthday, and passport number.

How Long Does It Take To Get an ESTA From Belgium?

ESTA processing for Belgians is usually short - it takes around 20 minutes or a few hours until you get a response. Very rarely, ESTA approval can take up to 3 days.

How Much in Advance Do You Need to Apply for an ESTA?

The ESTA application should be filed at least three days before travel. If you failed to submit an application earlier, it can also be filled out at the airport, just before leaving for the trip to the USA, but it is still better to do it earlier in order to avoid potential problems.

How Long Is the ESTA Valid?

From the approval, an ESTA is valid for either two years or until the current passport's expiry date, whichever occurs first. If your ESTA authorization has expired, you will need to initiate a new application process.

Under What Circumstances Will Belgian Citizens Need a New Esta?

Belgian citizens are required to submit a new ESTA application under the following circumstances:

  • Their passport is about to expire.
  • They have been issued a new passport.
  • They have been issued a new passport.
  • Their responses to the ESTA eligibility questions have changed.

What to do if ESTA is Declined

An ESTA can be declined for various reasons and a common one is that a mistake was made on the application form. In some cases, the applicant will be able to re-apply, paying another application fee with the correct information.

If an application is declined due to another reason, a further option is to apply for a US visa, such as a tourist, student or working visa, depending on the nature of their visit. ESTA does not provide permission for Belgian citizens to work or study in the US.

Applying for a US visa will take longer, starting with completing a DS-160 form and then attending an interview at the US Embassy. The address for the US Embassy in Belgium is:

U.S. Embassy Brussels
Regentlaan 27 Boulevard du Régent
B-1000 Brussels

What Are the Differences Between ESTA and a US Visa?

To obtain an ESTA, an online application must be completed. A US visa application, on the other hand, requires you to complete a DS-160 form and attend an embassy appointment in your home country.

Obtaining a US visa takes many weeks, with inconsistent timing that may or may not coincide with your holiday plans.

A valid U.S. visa grants you some rights that ESTA applicants do not enjoy. As a result, authorized ESTA applicants are not guaranteed entry into the United States. CBP will finally examine the admission of Belgian residents traveling to the US with an ESTA at the US border.

Under What Circumstances Will a Belgian National Need a Visa Instead of an ESTA?

In some cases, Belgian nationals need a US visa rather than an ESTA.

Anyone going to America for longer than 90 days for study, work, or residency must acquire a visa. In other words, obtaining a US visa is necessary if you intend to do anything other than visit the country for tourism, business, transit, or medical purposes.

Also, anyone barred from entering the US using ESTA and/or who has a criminal history must file for a US visa.

Do Belgians Who Are Dual Citizens of the United States or Canada Need an ESTA?

Belgian citizens of double nationality in the United States or Canada do not need to submit an ESTA or a visa application. As specified in CBP guidelines, visitors should use their American or Canadian passports when getting into the USA.

Can I Apply on Behalf of My Child For an ESTA?

Yes, you can apply on behalf of your child if you’re their parent or a legal guardian.

Can I Submit the ESTA Application Multiple Times if It Has Been Rejected?

It is possible to resubmit the ESTA application 10 days later after your first submission. However, this only makes sense if your circumstances that led to refusal have changed or you’ve made a mistake in your first form. Otherwise, a new application will also be denied.

Please note that reapplying with false information to qualify for an ESTA will make you permanently ineligible for travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program.

Benefits of ESTA for Belgian citizens:
  • Quick processing time
  • For tourism, business, medical or transit in US
  • Valid for visits of up to 90 days maximum
  • Quick to complete application form
  • Use mobile or desktop for applying
  • Multiple visits to US allowed
Learn More About ESTA

If you’re looking for additional information before applying for an ESTA, check out our Frequently Asked Questions and ESTA requirements page.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.


Yes, Belgians need either an ESTA or a US visa to travel to the USA. A trip under the ESTA can last no longer than 90 days and can only be for tourism, business, transit, or medical purposes. For all other purposes, an appropriate visa is required.
In some circumstances, Belgians need a visa to travel to America. If the trip lasts longer than 90 days or they do not meet the requirements for ESTA approval, then they need a visa.
Yes, Belgians can enter America. To gain entry they must have an approved ESTA or a correct US visa, depending on the purpose of their trip.
The following group of Belgian nationals is not eligible for entry into the USA:
  • Citizens who have been denied a US visa;
  • Individuals with a criminal record;
  • People who have been deported or removed from the US;
  • People with infectious diseases.