The CGRS during the coronacrisis

(update 15-06-2021)

The personal interview

 

During the personal interviews at the CGRS, the following measures apply:

  • We invite a limited number of applicants at staggered hours to avoid crowding.
  • Applicants and lawyers wait in one of the waiting rooms at a designated place until the personal interview begins.
  • Wearing a face mask is mandatory on the way between the reception desk and the interview room. Wearing a face mask is not mandatory during the interview.
  • Plexiglass screens have been installed between all the persons present in the interview room. The lawyers have a small table at their disposal.
  • When entering the building, everybody disinfects their hands. The protection officer and the interpreter also disinfect their hands before and after the personal interview.
  • If a visitor shows symptoms at his arrival, the personal interview will not take place. If a person shows symptoms during the personal interview, the personal interview will be ended immediately.
  • A maximum of four persons can be present in an interview room. There are some bigger rooms for unaccompanied minors who come with a guardian, or for vulnerable applicants for whom the Commissioner general has allowed the presence of a trusted person.
  • The personal interviews can last up to four hours at most, breaks not included. The protection officer can extend the duration with half an hour in order to avoid a new invitation. A personal interview can also end earlier so as to guarantee that the room can still be cleaned in order to be used again.
  • The interview rooms are thoroughly cleaned after each use.

We created a video with practical instructions about the reception of applicants and lawyers at the CGRS. The video is available in Dutch , French and English.

 

The applicants

The applicants receive together with their invitation letter an appendix with instructions about the corona measures at the CGRS. You can find this appendix here in twelve languages: Dutch, French, English, Arabic, Spanish, Turkish, Pashto, Farsi, Tigrinya, Somali, Albanian, Russian.

 

Frequently asked questions

Hereafter you will find some frequently asked questions:

Which measures does the CGRS take to guarantee the safety of an interview?

The CGRS has made arrangements with the reception facilities to prevent that ill or infected persons come to the CGRS. We also sensitize interpreters and lawyers to strictly follow this measure, and the CGRS will also look to it. Moreover, we guarantee that the social distancing and hygienic rules are observed during the interviews.

To protect everybody, both staff members and visitors, the CGRS takes the following protection measures:

  • We invite a limited number of applicants at staggered hours.
  • Everybody must wear a face mask on the way between the CGRS reception desk and the interview room. You can take off the face mask during the interview.
  • Plexiglass screens are placed in the interview room between all participants.
Can I submit new documents during the personal interview at the CGRS?

You can submit new documents during the personal interview. The protection officer will ensure that this is done in a safe manner.

Documents in support of the asylum story can also be sent by e-mail to cgra-cgvs.dispatching@ibz.fgov.be, clearly stating the name and file number.

You cannot submit original documents at the CGRS. If you want to submit them to the CGRS, you must send them to the CGRS by registered mail: rue Ernest Blerot 39 – 1070 Brussels. Please mention clearly the name and the file number.

Can I bring my children or a counsellor to the personal interview at the CGRS?

No. Applicants must make arrangements for their children to be taken care of, even when both parents are invited to the CGRS. If you want somebody to accompany you to the CGRS, this person cannot wait in the waiting room of the CGRS.

Can I come to the CGRS to ask questions about the state of the procedure?

No. You can address your questions about your asylum procedure to the Helpdesk Asylum Procedure at cgra-cgvs.Advocate@ibz.fgov.be or 02/205.53.05.

Can I come to collect an original document the CGRS withheld during the asylum procedure?

Yes, it is possible to collect original documents at the CGRS by appointment. To do so, please contact the Helpdesk Asylum Procedure at cgra-cgvs.Advocate@ibz.fgov.be or 02/205.53.05. You must be in possession of a receipt.

Recognized refugees or stateless persons must contact the Helpdesk Recognized Refugees and Stateless Persons at cgrefugees@ibz.fgov.be or 02/205.53.07.

Appointments are possible on working days between 10 a.m. and 12 noon and between 2.30 and 3.30 p.m. Upon arriving at the CGRS, you must wait outside until a reception staff member comes to fetch you. You must wear a face mask all the time. It is preferable you come alone, not accompanied by children.

Currently, we cannot receive visitors who do not have an appointment.

Do I have to communicate a change of address by e-mail?

Applicants can inform us of their change of address by e-mail to the Helpdesk Lawyers cgra-cgvs.advocate@ibz.fgov.be. The CGRS will only consider the submitted address as the actual residence and not as the chosen residence. It remains important to communicate the change of address to the CGRS by registered mail.

Can social workers get access to the files of asylum seekers?

A formal authorization is needed to get access to a file. The applicant can authorize a social worker to get access to his/her file by sending a signed document granting authority to the CGRS.

What do I have to do if the CGRS is my chosen place of residence?

Currently, the CGRS Helpdesk is closed to visitors. Applicants for international protection who have chosen residence at the CGRS and who wish to know if the CGRS has taken a decision regarding their application, can contact the Helpdesk Lawyers by phone (02/205.53.05) or by mail (cgra-cgvs.advocate@ibz.fgov.be). The CGRS can also inform applicants if they have received any mail from the Immigration Office. These applicants can also come and collect the mail after having made an appointment with the Helpdesk Lawyers.

Can I get a postponement to send remarks about the notes of the personal interview?

As a result of the gradual easing of measures, the various actors who support the applicants for international protection, can perform their tasks again (lawyers, social workers, translators, interpreters…).

As a result, the Office of the Commissioner General has decided that article 57/5 quater of the law of 15 December 1980 will be fully applied again to the personal interviews from 1st August 2020 onwards.

All obligations and guarantees of this provision regarding the request for copies of notes of the personal interview, the communication of remarks about the notes of the personal interview and the assessment of these remarks by the CGRS will be applied again from 1st August onwards.

The request for copies of the notes of the personal interview must reach the CGRS within two working days after the personal interview and remarks must reach the CGRS within eight working days after the notification of the copy of the notes of the personal interview so that the CGRS can examine the remarks. The CGRS will examine every remark before taking a decision.

Can I get a postponement to present an FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) certificate as a recognized refugee?

Currently, it is possible again to make an appointment with a doctor for non-urgent consultations, such as the obtainment of a medical FGM certificate. If you still have problems to do so, you can contact the service in charge at cgra-cgvs.FGM@ibz.fgov.be.

How long does an interview take?

It is recommended that the interview does not last too long (four hours at most, break not included). If the protection officer thinks that he/she can round off the interview and avoid a new invitation, he/she can extend the duration of four hours with half an hour at most.