How to submit an application for international protection

Lodging an application at the IO takes place in three stages. During the first stage, foreign nationals personally make an asylum claim at the IO. This means that they express their intention to submit an application for international protection. This is done in the IO’s registration centre, or with the director of a prison or closed centre, or at the border.

Next, the IO registers the application as follows:

  • registration of the applicant’s identity details
  • receipt of the relevant documents handed over by the applicant
  • registration of the address to which the IO and the CGRS can send all correspondence
  • photograph of the applicant
  • fingerprints (from 14 years onwards); the IO will then check whether an applicant has previously applied for asylum in another EU country or has entered the EU via a country other than Belgium
  • medical examination
  • determination of  the language of the asylum procedure (French or Dutch).

The applicant then receives a proof of registration.

Finally, the applicant lodges his actual application at a date fixed by the IO. At this stage, the applicant can ask for the assistance of an interpreter. The CGRS questionnaire has to be completed. At this stage, the IO also checks whether the applicant has special procedural needs.

More information on this subject tailored to the asylum seeker can be found on in 9 languages (Dutch, French, English, Spanish, Arabic, Pashto, Farsi, Tigrinya and Somali).

Information about the asylum procedure, tailored to the asylum seeker, can be found at :