Cessation and revocation of the protection status

When there is new proof or new facts based on which the validity of the refugee status or the subsidiary protection status must be reconsidered, the Commissioner General examines whether they can revoke or end the status. This reconsideration takes place on an individual basis.

The reconsideration of the validity of a protection status by the CGRS can also be requested by the Minister or the person authorised by the latter.

The CGRS informs the applicant in writing of the reasons for the reconsideration.

  • In case of a possible revocation of the status the applicant is always called for an interview. There, they have the possibility to refute the reasons for the reconsideration.
  • In case of a possible cessation of the status an interview is not necessary. Applicants can submit the reasons for maintaining their status to the CGRS in writing. The Commissioner General can ask the person concerned to present the reasons for the preservation of his status in writing.

In case of a cessation or revocation of a protection status, the burden of proof lies with the CGRS.

Cessation of the protection status

A cessation decision ends the status granted. Protection is no longer necessary as a result of the applicant's own behaviour or as a result of a change in the circumstances that led to the granting of the status.

The Commissioner General can end the refugee status if:

  • the applicant voluntarily requests protection from the country of which he is a national
  • the applicant voluntarily recovers his or her original nationality after losing it
  • the applicant acquires a new nationality and protection in the country of which he or she is a new national
  • the applicant has voluntarily established himself in the country where he feared persecution
  • the circumstances that led to the refugee status no longer exist and the refugee can no longer refuse to seek protection from the country of his nationality (or the country of main residence in the case of stateless persons), unless there are compelling reasons due to previous persecution. The Commissioner General examines whether the change in circumstances is sufficiently extensive and permanent to eliminate the fear of persecution.

The Commissioner General can only end the subsidiary protection status if the circumstances that gave rise to the status no longer exist, or have changed in such a way that the protection status is no longer necessary. There must not be any compelling reasons on the part of the applicant as a result of previous serious harm not to seek protection from the country of his/her nationality (or the country of main residence in the case of stateless persons).

The Commissioner General examines whether the change in circumstances is sufficiently extensive and permanent to eliminate the real risk of serious harm.

Revocation of the protection status

The Commissioner General takes a decision to revoke the protection status when this status should never have been granted

  • because the applicant should have been excluded from protection or
  • because they were granted a protection status through fraudulent means.

If, after granting a protection status, the Commissioner General decides that the applicant should have been excluded, he can revokes the refugee status or the subsidiary protection status. In this decision, the Commissioner General renders an advice on a possible removal.

Read more about the situations in which the CGRS can apply the exclusion clause under Exclusion.

The Commissioner General may revokes a protection status on the grounds of fraud if the applicant:

  • represented the facts wrongly during his application for international protection
  • withheld information during his application
  • made false statements during his application
  • used false or falsified documents during his application.
  • his personal behaviour proves that he no longer fears persecution or runs a real risk of serious harm.

The fraud must relate to essential elements of the application which were not known at the time the protection status was granted.

  • The Commissioner General can revoke refugee status if:
  • the refugee poses a threat to society because he has been definitively convicted for a particularly serious crime
  • there are reasonable grounds to consider that the refugee represents a threat to national security.

In this decision, the Commissioner General also renders an advice on a possible removal.

The Commissioner General can also revoke subsidiary protection status if:

  • the person concerned has committed one or several crimes that do not fall within the specific exclusion clauses
  • the crimes are punishable by imprisonment if committed in Belgium
  • the person concerned has left his country of origin in order to escape punishment.

In this decision, the Commissioner General also renders an advice on a possible removal.

 

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