The CGRS has changed its policy regarding decisions on applications for international protection from parents on behalf of their daughter(s) under 18 fearing FGM.
This change follows the Council for Alien Law Litigation’s case law.
If a girl under 18 has a well-founded fear of persecution owing to a risk of being subjected to FGM, she will be recognised as a refugee. However, if her parent(s) do not have a well-founded fear of persecution for themselves, they will from now on be refused refugee status and subsidiary protection status.
Recognition of the daughter’s refugee status (for which the CGRA is competent) has to be distinguished from the right to stay of the parent(s). When the parents’ application is rejected because they do not personally fear persecution or run a risk of serious harm, they still have the possibility to apply for regularisation of their residence status on the basis of article 9bis of the 1980 Aliens Act (for which the Immigration Office is competent).
The CGRS has informed the Immigration Office of this policy change.
Parents whose asylum application is rejected can apply for an authorization to stay in Belgium under the regularisation procedure (article 9bis of the 1980 Aliens Act). More information can be found on https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/FR/Guidedesprocedures/Pages/Autorisationdeséjourpourmotifshumanitairesautresquemédicauxarticle9bis.aspx (in French) and https://dofi.ibz.be/sites/dvzoe/NL/Gidsvandeprocedures/Pages/Aanvraag_om_uitzonderlijk_verblijf.aspx (in Dutch).