1

The Belgian Essential Travel sworn statement has a number of categories, but I'm not sure which one I should pick.

Specifically, I am an EU resident with primary residence in another EU country (not Belgium). I'm considering transiting in Belgium on my return from an essential trip outside the EU.

My entire trip (assuming I choose Belgium as my entry point back to the EU) looks as follows:

EU country of residence =flight=> non-EU country where my physical presence is required (this is the main reason for my entire trip) =flight=> Brussels (entry-point back to the EU) =car=> EU country of residence

The Belgian Passenger Locator Form has a number of essential travel categories which may seem relevant, but it mostly depends on whether I choose the category for my entire trip (as described above) or the trip back home (i.e. starting at the the non-EU country where my physical presence is required).

If it is the former, I could choose the option 'a trip in the context of a legal obligation, insofar as it is necessary and cannot be done online' and bring along supporting documents showing that my physical presence is required at my destination. Of course that won't support the need for my trip back home.

If choosing the latter, I would simply argue that I am travelling home and that such a trip is essential per se. Two options in the form seem to support that reason:

  • a transit trip;
  • for an individual whose primary residence is abroad: departure from Belgium after a trip which commenced before 27 January 2021.

The last reason is phrased a bit ambiguously, I'm not sure if this applies only to those who are already in Belgium (so that this reason only supports travel departing Belgium) or if it also applies to arrivals who plan to leave immediately (the trip, regardless of how it is defined starts after January 27th).

The transit reason seems the most straightforward if my assumption that travelling home is always essential.

TL;DR: Do the essential travel categories on the Belgian passenger locator form refer to the trip as a whole or to the (narrowest) part of the trip that involves travel through Belgium?

2

Having done some more research, I think the transit category applies. The main prerequisite for transiting through Belgium seems to be that the travel is allowed by the final destination country. For example, the Independent wrote:

Transit journeys through Belgium, for example from France to the Netherlands, are permitted – subject to the rules in the neighbouring countries.

More authoritatively, the Belgian Immigration Office writes on international travels:

Transit: Attention is drawn to the fact that if you travel to another Schengen Member State via Belgium, you must have an authorisation to enter the other Member State in question, unless you can prove the essential character on the basis of documents. You can do this with a verbal note from the embassy of that other Schengen Member State or an individualised proof from those authorities confirming that you can travel there. If you do not have such a document, it will be up to the Belgian immigration authorities to determine whether you can travel via Belgium. Therefore, you are advised to plan a direct flight to the Schengen Member State which is your final destination.

As such, being resident in the destination Schengen Member State should be sufficient proof that you are authorized to enter that member state, subject to any additional rules on entry set by that member state.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.