Detention and closed centres

An applicant for international protection can submit an asylum application when detained at a specific location (at the border, in a closed centre, in prison,…) The CGRS and, in the appeal procedure, the Council for Alien Law Litigation (CALL) will process this asylum application through an accelerated procedure.                                                       

How to submit an asylum application at a specific location?

An applicant who is being detained can register an asylum application:

  • at the border: with the border police, as quickly as possible after arrival at the border
  • in a closed centre or in prison: with the director of the closed centre or the prison.

After the asylum seeker has submitted his application, it will be sent to the Immigration Office (IO), which will examine if Belgium is responsible for processing the asylum application. If this is the case, the CGRS will examine de asylum application.

Processing asylum applications

After the CGRS has received the asylum application, a protection officer will interview the applicant at the location where he is detained. After the interview, the CGRS will take a decision within a short time, on the basis of the elements in the file, the statements and the evidence the applicant has presented himself. The CGRS has 15 days to take a decision after the IO has transferred the asylum application.

The Commissioner General decides to:

  • refuse refugee status and refuse subsidiary protection status
  • recognise refugee status
  • grant subsidiary protection status.

The detained person who receives refugee status or subsidiary protection status, will be released from the closed centre or at the border.

The appeal with the CALL

The applicant who receives a decision of refusal has 15 days to start (with his lawyer) an appeal procedure before the CALL in full jurisdiction.

After receiving the appeal, the CALL will organise within the shortest possible time a session where both parties will have the opportunity to give additional information.

The CALL can

  • confirm the decision: the decision of the CGRS was correct
  • reverse the decision: the CALL does not agree with the decision of the CGRS and decides to grant a protection status (refugee status or subsidiary protection status). The CALL can change a recognition of subsidiary protection status into a recognition of refugee status or into a refusal of subsidiary protection status
  • annul the decision: the CALL sends the asylum file back to the CGRS when the decision is not adequately motivated. When taking a new decision, the CGRS must take into account the comments of the CALL as far as possible.
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