Processing time for Palestinian cases

Following the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since October, the CGRS decided on 20 October to temporarily suspend the negative decisions for applications filed by persons from Palestine.

On 19 December 2023, the CGRS announced that it would resume processing all Palestinian applications. In doing so, the CGRS acknowledged the need for international protection of applicants whose application is being processed in relation to the Gaza Strip, but stressed that an individual examination is still required.

However, several elements prevent a decision from being taken within the initial six-month period referred to in Article 57/6, §1, paragraph 2 of the Law of 15 December 1980.

On the one hand, the CGRS has observed a significant increase in the number of applications for international protection from Palestinian applicants in recent years. Between 2021 and 2023, the number of applications almost doubled and this increase has continued since the first months of 2024. The CGRS also observes an increase in the number of Palestinian applicants already enjoying protection in another Member State of the European Union.

On the other hand, as a result of the volatile situation in Palestine, the CGRS had to reassess the processing of Palestinian cases on several occasions.

These elements have had a significant impact on the caseload of the CGRS and have resulted in longer processing times for Palestinian cases.

Action plan for processing Palestinian cases

The CGRS is aware that it is important for applicants for international protection to be granted international protection within a reasonable period of time. Therefore, the CGRS has taken several measures in recent weeks to ensure that Palestinian cases are processed more quickly and that a decision can be taken within 21 months of the submission of the application for protection.

The CGRS will give priority to the processing of the oldest cases.

As the services of the Office of the Commissioner General are currently overwhelmed by a very large number of requests by e-mail, by telephone or at the reception desk, we ask you to only contact us when absolutely necessary.

21 May 2024

Information about the asylum procedure, tailored to the asylum seeker, can be found at : asyluminbelgium.be.