Travel documents

You have the correct travel documents? Then you can travel abroad without any worries. Check this in time, and ask yourself the following questions:

Which travel documents do you need?

  • Are you travelling to a destination within the EU, or to Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland? Then you do not need any special travel documents other than your identity card.

Please note: are you living in a EU member state whose nationality you do not hold? In that case, the airline may require an identity document, because a residence card is not a valid travel document.

  • Are you travelling to a country outside the EU? In principle, you will need a passport, or possibly even a visa.

Please note: Are your name and first name identical on all your documents (flight ticket, passport or identity card, visa, etc.)? Is your passport still valid for a sufficient period of time? Many countries require a certain period of validity beyond the date of travel.

Who can inform you about the required travel documents?

What are the exact conditions (and travel documents) that are required in order to be allowed to enter a country, and to stay there for less than three months? These conditions vary from destination to destination:

  • Fill in your travel destination on the Federal Office for Foreign Affairs website, and find out immediately which travel documents you will need.
  • Or: within your own country, contact the embassy of the country you aim to travel to. Or visit your travel agency, and obtain information about the required formalities and travel documents (passport and visa).
  • You booked your trip via a travel agent? The agency is obliged to inform you about the required travel documents and medical formalities. Airlines do not have this obligation. 

Please note: You have booked a trip with a travel agency in a country whose nationality you do not hold? Then the travel agent can refer you to the relevant authorities in your country.

Which travel documents do you have to arrange for your child/children?

Are you travelling abroad with a child under the age of twelve? Then you must present his or her identity document: a passport or an identity document, such as a Kids ID. A Kids ID is comparable to an identity card for adults, except that the child is not required to sign the document. Your country of destination determines exactly which travel documents you will need.

Some countries require additional documents. For example, for South Africa you need to present a birth certificate for children under 18. Consult the website of Foreign Affairs (information available in French or Dutch) for all details. Apply for these documents in time as they can’t always be delivered on the spot.

What about the European Health Insurance Card?

Are you travelling to a European member state, or to Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein? Then it is best to ensure that you have your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you. This card will ensure:

  • easier access to the medical care you may require to continue your stay 
  • that the provided care is reimbursed

The card is only valid for one year, and can only be obtained on application to your health insurance.

Please note: Are you travelling to a destination outside the European Union? In this case, the European Health Insurance Card is of no use. Ask your health insurance what medical coverage you are entitled to, and take out a private insurance if necessary.