The CGRS attaches great importance to respecting your privacy and protecting your personal data while accomplishing its mission. This privacy statement gives you detailed information on the protection of your personal data by the CGRS and on your rights.
You will find the privacy statements of the Federal Public Service of the Interior here: https://ibz.be/fr/declaration-de-confidentialite (in French), https://ibz.be/nl/privacyverklaring (in Dutch). For the privacy statement of the Belgian Federal Government, see: https://www.belgium.be/en/personal_data (in English).
All personal data (i.e. data by means of which you can be identified directly or indirectly) you submit to the CGRS will be treated with the utmost care. This means that your personal data will be processed in accordance with Regulation 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC, hereafter abbreviated to GDPR.
You are requested to read this privacy statement carefully and to take note of its content.
If necessary, you will receive more detailed information though specific channels.
The CGRS is a federal independent administration processing applications for international protection in Belgium. The mission of the CGRS consists of granting protection to persons who run a risk of being persecuted or suffering serious harm upon returning to their country of origin. The CGRS also issues civil status documents to recognized refugees and stateless persons.
The CGRS operates within a strict legal framework. The Law of 15 December 1980 on the access to the territory, the residence, the settlement and removal of aliens (the Aliens’ Law) contains provisions both for refugee status and for subsidiary protection status.
Therefore, the CGRS mainly processes your personal data as part of its legal obligations, in order to perform a task of general interest and to exercise the public authority granted to the CGRS.
To what ends do we process your personal data?
As part of the legal missions of the CGRS:
- taking decisions on the applications for international protection/asylum;
- issuing certificates to recognized refugees;
- giving advice to the Minister and his deputy;
- managing parties who intervene in the applications for international protection;
- dealing with disputes regarding decisions that have been taken;
- keeping statistics in order to run and monitor the internal organization of the CGRS.
- Besides, the CGRS also has to process personal data as part of its daily functioning:
- administration of staff members;
- management of suppliers.
Which personal data do we collect?
The CGRS only collects and uses the personal data required for its legal missions, in order to perform a task of general interest and to exercise the public authority granted to the CGRS, or that are necessary to inform and/or answer you.
The CGRS commits itself to process only personal data that are sufficient, relevant and not excessive in proportion to the purposes for which they are collected, and not to use them in a way that is incompatible with those purposes.
Apart from the personal data we directly collect from you, the CGRS can also collect information from third parties.
The Commissioner General is authorized to request all documents and information useful to the accomplishment of his mission from any Belgian authority (article 57/7 §1 of the Aliens’ Law). Besides, in order to assess the application for international protection, the Commissioner General can consult and use information of any kind sent or received electronically by the applicant for international protection and not intended for the Commissioner General in person (article 57/7 §2 of the Aliens’ Law).
Regarding the application for international protection, this may involve the following categories of information:
- identification data;
- contact data;
- personal characteristics;
- ways of living;
- family composition;
- study and education;
- occupation and job;
- national registry number;
- financial situation;
- judicial information;
- racial or ethnic data;
- political convictions/membership of an association;
- philosophical and religious convictions;
- data regarding sexual behaviour or sexual orientation;
- health data.
With whom do we share your personal data?
In performing its legal missions, the CGRS may have to communicate your personal data to the following persons (see article 57/27 of the Aliens’ Law among others):
- yourself, your legal representatives;
- your counsellors or those of your legal representatives;
- the appellate authorities (Council for Alien Law Litigation and Council of State);
- the Immigration Office;
- the Guardianship Service;
- Intelligence and security services;
- police services, the Public Prosecutor, the federal prosecutor or examining magistrate;
- the waiting register.
As part of its legal missions, the CGRS can submit some of your personal data to European or international courts at their formal request and in accordance with their rules.
How long do we retain your personal data?
Your personal data are not retained any longer than necessary for the purposes for which they are processed.
In general, the CGRS retains your personal data as part of its legal duties according to the needs of the service and as long as the case is open. After the documents in the file have been selected, it is submitted to the National Archives.
Depending on the source and the specific legal frameworks, retention periods can deviate from this general rule.
Use of contact information
If you contact the CGRS, outside the context of the processing of a specific application for international protection, by phone, e-mail, fax or post, in order to receive or to give information, the CGRS will automatically obtain specific personal data. These data can be used to answer your message or question. They can also be saved. You have the right to access your data, you can ask to correct them or you can object to processing them.
Your contact information will under no circumstances be passed to third parties.
Access to the website - cookies
The CGRS attaches great importance to the protection of the privacy of the user of its website. The information on the website is available without the user having to provide personal data.
Every visit to the website is registered. This registration only happens for statistical reasons. The CGRS collects anonymous registration data to monitor the number of visitors of its website and to check which information is most often accessed. This makes it possible to permanently optimize the website for its users.
The online agreement and all the disputes or claims resulting from the website or any data contained therein fall within the scope of Belgian law. Consulting the website implies that in case of a dispute, the user accepts that only the courts of law in Brussels are competent.
Your rights and how to assert them
You have a certain rights regarding your personal data. Some of these rights are only applicable in limited cases.
You have the right to know if your personal data are processed by the CGRS and in the affirmative case you can obtain access to your data. You can also ask to correct them or you can object to their processing. In a number of cases included in the GDPR, you have the right to obtain a restriction of the processing of your personal data.
If you wish to assert your rights regarding the processing of your personal data, please contact the Data Protection Officer (DPO) of the CGRS. For practical information, see: https://ibz.be/nl/hoe-kunt-u-uw-rechten-uitoefenen (in Dutch) https://ibz.be/fr/comment-exercer-vos-droits (In French)
Mind you, this only concerns questions regarding the processing of your personal data by the CGRS and the assertion of your rights regarding this processing. If, as a lawyer or applicant, you want to request access to the notes of the personal interview or if you want to request a copy of documents from the asylum dossier and/or want to request access to an asylum dossier, you can find the appropriate information here: https://www.cgrs.be/en/Formulieren.
If you think that the CGRS does not process your personal data according to the GDPR, you can file a complaint with the Data Protection Authority, rue de la Presse 35, 1000 Brussels. https://www.gegevensbeschermingsautoriteit.be/ (in Dutch), https://www.autoriteprotectiondonnees.be/ (in French)
Data safety and confidentiality
The CGRS takes appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of your personal data. In order to ensure that your data are protected against unauthorised access, unlawful use, loss or unauthorized modifications, the CGRS uses various technical and organizational measures.
The person responsible for the processing of personal data at the CGRS as part of its legal duties is:
The Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons, Boulevard du Roi Albert II 26A, 1000 Brussels.
If you have any questions about the processing of your personal data at the CGRS or if you want to assert your rights regarding the processing of your personal data, you can contact the Data Protection officer (DPO) of the CGRS. For practical information, see: https://ibz.be/nl/hoe-kunt-u-uw-rechten-uitoefenen (in Dutch), https://ibz.be/fr/comment-exercer-vos-droits (in French).
As mentioned earlier, this only concerns questions about the processing of your personal data at the CGRS and the assertion of your rights regarding this processing. If, as a lawyer or applicant, you want to request access to the notes of the personal interview or if you want to request a copy of certain documents from the asylum file and/or want to request access to the asylum file, you can find the appropriate information here: https://www.cgrs.be/en/Formulieren.
Modification of the privacy statement
This privacy statement can be modified or updated. The CGRS advises you to regularly check the statement in order to keep yourself informed of these changes. After every modification, the date on which the document was updated will be changed accordingly. It goes without saying that all the new versions of this statement will continue to conform to the GDPR.