Belgium introduces new passport design featuring iconic comic strip images 

Coat of arms of Belgium.

On January 27, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès (MR) launched the new Belgian passport. A document that is even more secure thanks to new security and personalization techniques. 

The new Belgian passport will also be recognizable thanks to its original design, which honors one of the jewels of our culture: the heroines and heroes of comic strips.

Why a new passport?

The passport is a particularly important travel document. Therefore, it is necessary to have the most secure and high quality product possible.

Thanks to new security and personalization techniques, the security of the Belgian passport has been reinforced. It has been developed in close cooperation with anti-fraud specialists of the Federal Police and will be manufactured by the consortium of companies Zetes and Thales.

The price charged by Foreign Affairs remains the same: 65 euros (for adults) and 35 euros (for minors). This is the price for an ordinary 34-page passport requested under the standard procedure, excluding municipal taxes, which each municipality is free to set. 

The validity period will always be seven years for adults and five years for minors. The delivery options will be the same as before: standard procedure (five working days), urgent procedure (next working day, at extra cost), super urgent procedure: in 4.30 hours, at extra cost.

This new passport will be available from 7 February 2022 at your local municipality or consular post, if you live abroad and are registered at the Belgian consular post responsible for your place of residence. The old passport remains valid until its expiry date.

Strong passport

The passport issued by Belgium currently allows its citizens to travel to 149 countries, 110 of which are visa-free.

The Passport Index places Balgium a joined 6th on the ranking.

  1. United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  2. Italy.
  3. Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland.
  4. Denmark, Austria, Luxembourg, France, Poland, Switzerland, South Korea, New Zealand.
  5. Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Czechia, Norway, Hungary, United Kingdom, Australia.

Henley & Partners have a different ranking.

  1. Japan, Singapore.
  2. Germany, South Korea.
  3. Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain.
  4. Austria, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden.
  5. Ireland, Portugal.
  6. Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States.
Flag of Belgium

A new design

The FPS Foreign Affairs welcomes the exceptional collaboration with the publishing houses and right holders, who have agreed to use their famous cartoon figures to illustrate the new Belgian passport: Bonte Magazine, IMPS/LAFIG, Mediatoon, Moulinsart SA, Standaard Uitgeverij.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sophie Wilmès: “The Belgian passport is one of the best in the world, it is a source of pride for us, but also an object of desire for counterfeiters. This is why we are constantly working to improve its security. The introduction of this new passport is also an opportunity for us to highlight the 9th art, the comic strip, which is a central element of our culture and our influence abroad. I would like to thank the publishers, authors and rights holders who have agreed to participate in the project. Finally, a very important point for me: the quality and security of the passport have been reinforced, but the price charged by the Foreign Affairs will not increase. In a context of general price increases, this is a strong gesture that will be cost-beneficial for our citizens.”

On the occasion of the launch of the new passport, a temporary exhibition on the history of the Belgian passport will be accessible at the Comics Art Museum (Rue des Sables 20, 1000 Brussels) from 28 January to 6 March 2022.

Belgian passport cover.

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