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Asylum and immigration law

One of the most discussed issues in the first half of the 21st century is undoubtedly migration from Africa and the Middle East to Europe. When people flee to Europe because of human rights violations or civil war in their own country, when they have problems of a political, ethnic , religious or sexual nature in their own country, they can apply for political asylum in our country, the so-called “application for international protection”.


This can also be done by an unaccompanied minor , who will then be assisted by a guardian.
Proving that one is in the conditions is not always evident, as there is often little or nothing on paper.

The prospective political refugee should then apply to the Immigration Department. If he or she qualifies for asylum in Belgium, the file goes to the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRS).

Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons

It is the Commissioner General who decides on the application, and may or may not grant the request for asylum.

In case of a positive decision, a Belgian passport is issued as a refugee , and one has to hand in one’s original passport. With these papers, one can also enter the labour market, without a work permit. The residence permit also applies to the partner and children. These can possibly apply for family reunification, if they are not yet in the country.

Council for Immigration Disputes

A negative decision can be appealed to the Council for Immigration Disputes. Subsidiary protection may also be granted, which is of temporary duration. In exceptional circumstances, one can be regularised for humanitarian or medical reasons. Obviously, these procedures – especially for someone who does not know the country and does not speak the national languages – are far from simple, so the assistance of a specialised lawyer is highly recommended.