The invitation for the personal interview

The CGRS invites everyone

The CGRS invites every applicant at least once for an interview.

For a subsequent application, the CGRS can take a decision without organising a new interview. The CGRS will then decide on the basis of the existing asylum application and the additional statements made by the applicant upon registration of his subsequent application at the IO.

The location of the interview

The interview takes place in the offices of the CGRS in Brussels (close to Brussels-North Train Station).

If the asylum applicant is being detained in a detention centre, in a centre at the border or in a prison, a case worker[CS1]  of the CGRS will go there for the interview.

The residence of the applicant for international protection

The CGRS sends the invitation to the chosen place of residence given by the asylum applicant. The asylum authorities must be able to reach the applicant at any moment in the procedure, so that the correspondence about the asylum application can reach him in time and at the right address. Upon registration of the asylum application, the applicant indicates where he officially resides in Belgium; this is the choice of residence. If the applicant changes his chosen place of residence during the procedure, he must inform the IO and the CGRS. He can do this with the form ‘Change of chosen place of residence’. He sends it by registered mail to the CGRS and the IO or hands the form personally in at the Reception of the CGRS. A change of address only registered with the municipality does not count as an official change of address in the context of the asylum procedure.

The lawyer – and for an unaccompanied minor applicant also the representative – receives a copy of all correspondence between the CGRS and the applicant.

Presence at the interview

  • If the applicant cannot be present at the interview for a reason beyond his control, he has to inform the CGRS as quickly as possible, or within 15 days of the date of the appointment. He must send the CGRS by registered mail a document that proves he is unable to come. If the applicant does not inform the CGRS, a negative decision may be taken.
  • The absence of the lawyer at the interview is not a valid reason for postponing the interview.
  • If the representative cannot be present (in the case of an unaccompanied minor applicant), the CGRS will set a new date for the interview.

Request for information

The CGRS can send the applicant a letter with a 'request for information'. With this letter, the CGRS asks for additional information about the asylum application. If there is no reaction or valid answer within 30 days, the CGRS may decide to refuse the application.

An additional interview

The CGRS may invite the asylum seeker for a second interview in order to collect more information. The Commissioner General will then be able to take a correct decision.