Belgian abroad

  1. Last updated on

This page contains general information posted by the FPS Foreign Affairs. If you are residing abroad, please verify in this list whether your embassy or consulate has posted specific information for your place of residence on its website.

If you reside abroad, applying for a new biometric passport is not always straightforward. Indeed, in many cases, you will have to travel long distances to provide your biometric data.

The passport applicant must be physically present

Every citizen will have to apply for a passport in person (from the age of 6) at the appropriate embassy or consulate.

Preparing your passport application

On this website you will find the passport application forms as well as information on the other possibilities available to you.

1. Applying for a new passport

The procedure to be followed depends on the age of the person who needs a passport.

Children under the age of 6

1. Print and complete the passport application form for children under the age of 6.

2. Attach a colour passport photograph of the child to the form (no staples).

3. Send the application form and photograph to the consular post where the child is registered.

In some cases, the post may request certain additional documents before issuing the passport.

Adults and children over the age of 6

1. Print and complete the passport application form for adults and children over the age of 6.

2. Send this application form to the consular post where you (or the child) are registered (no photograph required). In some cases, the post may request certain additional documents.

3. Wait for your registration to be approved before making an appointment to provide your signature and biometric data, namely:

  • A facial photograph at the consular post (from age 6). If you have a recent colour picture, please take it with you. We give priority to photographs taken on site but in exceptional circumstances a picture can be scanned)
  • Digital fingerprints of 2 fingers (from age 12)

There are several places where you can go and provide your biometric data (see Other possibilities below).

If you are not registered at a consular post...

Since June 15, 2014, the date of commencement of the Consular Code, you can no longer apply for an ordinary biometric passport (valid for 7 years, 5 years for minors) at a Belgian consular post abroad if you are not officially registered in one of them. If you are still registered in a Municipality in Belgium, you should contact that authority to obtain a biometric passport.

If necessary, you can still apply for a temporary passport (valid for up to one year) at a consular post abroad.

2. Price and time required

You must pay for your passport in local currency of the consular post where you submitted your application. Therefore, it is only there that you will be able to obtain the exact price in this local currency (which depends on the exchange rate).

Passports issued by our embassies and consulates are always the same price in euros (French (PDF, 71.53 KB) or Dutch) (PDF, 102.22 KB), regardless of the local currency. This price various according to:

  1. the number of pages (34 or 66 pages)
  2. the applicant's age (minor/adult)

This price includes:

  • a federal tax (unless the passport is for a child under 18 years),
  • production costs (which depend on the number of pages in the passport)
  • international postage rates from the manufacturer to the embassy or consulate.

When and how will you receive your passport?

Your passport will arrive at the consular post where you submitted your application within 10 working days.

If you requested it when submitting your application, the consular post will be able to send it to you by post. This delivery will be under your own responsibility and at your own expense.

Of course, you can collect your passport in person or give power of attorney to another person. You can use the model provided by your consular post or the document below.

For further information, contact the post where you submitted your application.

3. Other possibilities

At FPS Foreign Affairs, just as at our diplomatic and consular posts, we are extremely aware of the difficulties caused to those of you living abroad by asking you to apply for your passport in person. Unfortunately, this is the price that must be paid so that we can provide a passport that is safer than ever and meets European requirements. 

Within the limits of the legal and technical resources at our disposal, we do however offer a number of alternatives.

3.1. Submit your passport at a place of your choice

Adults and children over the age of 6 must go to a consular post in person to provide their signature, their photograph (from age 6) and their digital fingerprints (from age 12).

If you are registered with a consular post, you must submit your application to several places:

  • At the consular post where you are registered
  • At any other Belgian consular post (city where you work, when on holiday, etc.)
  • At a municipal administration in Belgium:
    • last municipality where you were registered in Belgium;
    • or municipality where you were born (if you have never resided in Belgium);
    • or municipality of your choice (if you have never resided and were not born in Belgium).
  • By visiting a consulate in your region that has a "mobile kit". Some consular posts (see below) have mobile biometric equipment and periodically organise visits to areas that are a long way from the consular post and where many Belgians reside. These visits are announced well in advance on their website, in their newsletters or by email. 

Since 1 January 2018, all Belgian consular posts and municipal administrative services use the same passport application programme. Therefore, you no longer have to request prior approval at your registration post in order to submit your application at another post or at a municipal administrative service.
After checking your application in the programme, your registration post will give its approval by computer for your passport to be produced. It will contact you in the event of a problem with your application. Therefore, the delivery period will start the moment your post confirms your application.

It is the post or the municipality where you submitted your passport application that will issue your passport once manufactured.

3.2. Provide your biometric data before you need a new passport

If you are visiting the city where your consular post is based for work or a holiday or a city with another Belgian consular post and want to use this opportunity to provide your biometric data, even though you do not need a passport immediately, you can "pre-register":

1. Print, complete and send your pre-registration request with a recent passport photograph to the post where you are registered.

2. Wait for your registration to be approved before making an appointment to pre-register your data free of charge at the post of your choice:

  • your signature (from age 5)
  • your photograph (from age 5)
  • digital fingerprints of 2 of your fingers (from age 11).

3. You will then have 1 year to send your passport application (French (PDF, 99.19 KB) / Dutch (PDF, 85.24 KB) / German (PDF, 103.74 KB)) by letter to the consular post where you are registered. You pay for this passport when you actually submit your passport application (normal passport price, no surcharge for using pre-registered data).

Pre-registration is not possible in Belgium. 

4. FAQ

4.1. Why do I have to go to the embassy or the consular mission when there is an honorary consulate near me?

Our aim is to issue passports that are recognised by all third countries and enable you to travel easily. In this respect, having passports issued exclusively by embassies and consular missions is the best option. Belgium - like many other European countries - has therefore decided to not equip its honorary consulates for the capture of biometric data.

4.2. We have 3 children between the ages of 2 and 10 who do not need to give their fingerprints and we live 500 km from the consulate. Do we really have to take them with us for the application?

Only children aged 6 or over have to be present when their passport application is submitted. Children under 12 do not need to have their fingerprints taken but, from the age of 6, they must have their photograph taken on site and sign their passports. Their presence is therefore necessary. However, you should consult the Other possibilities section above and pay attention to communications from your embassy or consulate.

4.3. The passport I have does not contain digital fingerprints but is still valid. Can I continue to use it?

Absolutely. It will be valid without restrictions until the expiry date indicated on it.

4.4. Where will my biometric data be stored?

All your data will be stored on your passport's chip which is found in the back cover of your passport.

When you apply for a passport, we also store your data for 3 months. This enables us to produce your passport, but also prevents you having to return to your post if we discover a mistake in your passport once it is produced. After 3 months, your data is destroyed.

At your request, we can however store your data for 7 years. In the event of an administrative error, a production mistake, loss or theft, we can then produce a duplicate of your passport (which will be valid for the same dates as your original passport) without you having to return to your consular post. For more information, see the Data storage section below.

4.5. I have requested that my data be stored for 7 years. Can you use it when my current passport expires and I need a new one?

No, European regulation does not allow this. So you will have to return to provide new data for every new passport application.

We can only use this saved data to produce a duplicate of your passport in the event of an administrative error, a production mistake, loss or theft. This duplicate will be valid for the same dates as your original passport.

4.6. I've had my passport stolen. I had requested that my data be stored for 7 years and I would like to use this data for a duplicate passport. Why do I have to pay full price for a new passport when there are only 2 years remaining on the original one?

Because the administrative and production costs are the same for every passport, whether it is a new 7-year passport (5 years for minors) or a duplicate valid for a shorter period.

Unlike many countries, we allow citizens to request that their biometric data be saved for 7 years. This is a unique service offered by Belgium, without which a citizen with a lost or stolen passport would have to return to their consular post to apply and pay for a new passport, even if the lost/stolen passport was still valid for several more years. With our system, the citizen can choose the option that best suits him depending on the remaining period of validity and the inconvenience of making another visit to his post. If there are still 4 years remaining on the passport, it will probably be cheaper to request a duplicate at the full price than go to the consular post again for a new 7-year passport (5 years for minors).

4.7. I pre-registered my data, but I have lost the request form that I was given. How can I apply for a passport using my pre-registered data?

In this case, complete our assistance form and return it to the consular post where you are currently registered.

5. Data retention

Mandatory 3-month storage

When you apply for a passport, we must store your data for 3 months in our “passport production” database. Doing so enables us to:

  1. Produce your passport.
  2. Reproduce a new passport if you notice an administrative or production error on the return of your passport. This means that you will not have to return a 2nd time to provide new data. 

Optional 7-year storage

Solely upon your request, we can store your data for 7 years.

This means that in certain well-defined cases we can produce a duplicate of your passport, without you having to return and provide new data at your post:

Data retention
Situation Validity dates of the new passport Cost of a new passport
Administrative or production error The same as those for a passport with a mistake or a lost/stolen passport Free
Loss or theft Cost of a new passport (€79 adult, €35 child)

Passport lost or stolen, or with a mistake or defect?

Contact the consular post where you were registered on encountering the problem.

They will inform you of what needs to be done, depending on your situation.  

For further information on the processing of your data by our FPS, you can consult our privacy policy.