Children in asylum

Many minors go through an asylum procedure in Belgium. Most children stay here with their parent(s) or (legal) representative. Their parent(s) or they themselves have applied for asylum. Every year hundreds of unaccompanied minors, without a parent or representative, also apply for asylum in Belgium.

The asylum procedure has a number of specific rules for both categories of minors. Additionally, the CGRS takes specific measures for dealing with their asylum applications and has a coordinator for minors.

Refugee Status

After his recognition, a refugee is entitled to unlimited residence in Belgium.

Subsidiary protection status

Subsidiary protection status entitles the holder to a residence permit for a limited period of time.

What does the CGRS not do?

Reception and guidance

The CGRS is authorised to investigate applications for international protection.

The Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Fedasil) provides reception and guidance services for applicants. Fedasil manages the open reception centre and offers social, legal, medical and psychological guidance. After submitting the application, the applicant goes to the Fedasil's Dispatching Service in order to obtain reception and guidance.

Fedasil

Recognising stateless persons

The CGRS is responsible for granting refugee status or subsidiary protection status but does not recognise stateless persons.

Stateless persons can obtain recognition by submitting a unilateral petition to the family court at their place of residence. The CGRS supplies documents of civil status to recognised stateless persons.

The family court

Processing visa requests

The applicant applies personally to the Belgian embassy or consulate in the country where he resides.  The Immigration Office (IO) processes the applications. The conditions depend on the type of visa that has been applied for.

FPS Foreign Affairs

The Immigration Office

Family reunification

The CGRS is not responsible for supplying a visa for family reunification for close family members or recognised refugees or persons with subsidiary protection status. They can apply for a visa for family reunification from the Belgian diplomatic post in the country where the family members live. The IO will further process the application.

FPS Foreign Affairs

The Immigration Office

Documents for persons with the subsidiary protection status

The CGRS is authorised to provide documents of civil status to recognised refugees and stateless persons, but not to persons with the  subsidiary protection status.

The person with subsidiary protection status requests a birth certificate from the embassy of his country of origin in Belgium.  If this is not possible, the person with subsidiary protection status can approach the Justice of the peace Court in his town of residence, to obtain an Act of Notoriety. This document can replace the birth certificate in some procedures.

FPS Foreign Affairs

Justice of the peace Courts in Belgium

Regularisation of foreign nationals

If a person resides in Belgium and would like to apply for a residence permit for more than 3 months, he can apply for regularisation in exceptional circumstances in Belgium. This is only possible if the applicant cannot submit this application to the diplomatic post in his country of origin:

  • regular residence permit on humanitarian grounds (article 9 bis Aliens Act)
  • regular residence permit on medical grounds (article 9 ter Aliens Act).

The Immigration Office

Return

The IO decides on the (forced) return of a foreign national whose procedure has come to an end. Fedasil is authorised to supervise and assist with the voluntary return of the foreign national.

Fedasil

The Immigration Office