27 March 2020
Updated on 9 April 2020 at 14:31.
We give you hereafter some answers to frequently asked questions about our functioning during the Coronacrisis.
My personal interview has been cancelled, what next?
Applicants whose personal interview has been cancelled will receive at a later date a new invitation for a personal interview. As it is not clear for the time being when personal interviews will be resumed at the CGRS, no invitations are currently being sent.
Applicants whose personal interview has been cancelled do not have to take any special steps. The CGRS is currently focussing on applications for which a personal interview has already taken place.
Will my lawyer also receive the decision of the CGRS about my application?
We send our decisions by registered post to the applicant and by ordinary post to the lawyer. Additionally, we also inform the lawyer by e-mail that the decision was sent to him the same day. As an exceptional measure, we currently also attach a copy of the decision to this e-mail, in order to facilitate the introduction of an appeal if the applicant wishes to do so.
What is the best way to inform the CGRS about my change of address, as there are delays in the postal services?
Applicants who have moved can send their new address by e-mail to the Helpdesk for Lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CGRS will consider this address as the applicant’s actual address but not as chosen place of residence. It is therefore very important to inform the CGRS by registered post of any change of address.
What do I have to do if the CGRS is my chosen place of residence?
The helpdesk of the CGRS is temporarily closed to visitors. At present, we do not send any invitations for personal interviews.
Applicants for international protection who have chosen residence at the CGRS and who wish to know if a decision has been taken regarding their application can contact the Helpdesk for lawyers by phone (02/205.53.05) or e-mail (email@example.com ). The CGRS can also tell these applicants if any mail has arrived from the Immigration Office.
Applicants who wish to receive a photocopy of their decision can request this by e-mail. Please mention your national register number in your request
Are social workers allowed to access the file of an asylum applicant?
In order to access a file, an explicit authorization is required. An applicant can authorize a social worker to look into his/her asylum file by sending the CGRS a signed authorization to this end.
Will a delay be granted to communicate remarks about the notes of the personal interview?
The CGRS is under the obligation to take a decision as quickly as possible for every application for international protection.
Article 57/5quater, § 3, paragraph 3, 2° and paragraph 4 of the law of 15 December 1980 puts the CGRS under a legal obligation to take into account all remarks communicated before the decision is taken, with no exceptions.
The CGRS has decided to continue taking decisions regarding applications for international protection, also in case the applicant, or his or her lawyer or guardian, did not have the opportunity, due to current circumstances, to communicate their remarks. On the other hand, the CGRS has decided not to resort to article 57/5quater, § 3, paragraph 5 of the law of 15 December 1980, in order to give them the opportunity to communicate their remarks later on when possible. In the case of an appeal, applicants, lawyers and/or guardians can also make any relevant remarks during the appeals procedure before the Council for Alien Law Litigation.
This applies to copies of the notes of personal interviews sent by registered post between 2 March 2020 and the end of the confinement period.
Can the legal period for lodging an appeal against a decision refusing protection be extended?
The time limit for lodging an appeal is determined by law. It is up to the Council for Alien Law Litigation to decide whether to take into account appeals lodged after the legal deadline has expired.
Will I receive a delay to send a medical certificate regarding FGM (female genital mutilation)?
We are aware that it is currently impossible to see a doctor for such a certificate. This will be the case at least until mid-April.
When doctors again receive visits, we advise you to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible and to send us the certificate immediately after the appointment.