A. What services are offered by Belgian consular officers?
- You are Belgian and you are travelling temporarily abroad, consult the section: travelling abroad.
- You are Belgian and you live permanently abroad, consult the section Consular administrative assistance.
- Issue an emergency travel document (“laissez-passer”) in case of loss or theft of your travel documents.
- Advise you concerning a transfer of money from Belgium in case of financial straits.
- Contact (via SPF Foreign Affairs in Brussels) your family or friends in Belgium so that they can provide you with flight tickets or money.
- Help you contacting lawyers, translators, or doctors
- Ensure that your relatives and friends are informed in case of accident, hospitalization or death abroad and advising them on the procedure to be followed.
- Contact and visit arrested or detained Belgians, and if necessary, deliver messages to their family/friends in Belgium.
B. What services are NOT offered by Belgian consular officers?
- Intervening in private affairs (for example, the payment of hotel bills, medical expenses, customs' transactions, fines or legal fees, legal matters, bail payments, child abductions, the enforcement of a Belgian custody order overseas, or obliging another country to settle a custody dispute, inquiries into crimes or deaths, etc.). However, we can help you by providing useful contacts such as lawyers.
- Pay for the fees for lawyers or deposit.
- Hotel bookings, finding accommodation or storing your luggage, providing you with a work permit or employment.
- Pay for a flight ticket in order to return to Belgium.
- Ensuring that you benefit from preferential treatment in hospitals, by a doctor, in the case of imprisonment, for excursions or visits, or even ensuring your release from prison or intervening in legal proceedings.
- Obtaining an extension of your visa, your resident's permit or your work permit.
- Intervening for dual nationality holders when they are in the country of their other nationality.
- Obtain your release from jail, avoid that local authorities expel you after that you have served your sentence.
- Act as facilitator in case of civil conflict.
General consular posts and career consular posts are mainly located in the capital [or other cities] of the countries covered by the exercise of their consular duties. These sometimes extend to other neighbouring countries where Belgium does not have consular representation.
They provide public services for Belgians abroad.
Since the entry into force of the consular code on 15/06/2014, administrative assistance is only provided to Belgians who are registered in the consular population register. Administrative assistance to Belgians who are not registered in these registers is limited to the issue of provisional travel documents if the issuing conditions are fulfilled.
As a Belgian domiciled overseas, it is advisable to always contact the Belgian general consular post or the career consular post in your country before contacting the FPS Foreign Affairs in Brussels.