Immigration to Belgium upon request of asylum h1>
asylum procedure in Belgium.
1. Application for asylum.
If you are on the territory of Belgium, you must apply for refugee status in the Office of Foreigners (Office des Etrangers, OE). In addition, you can apply for asylum in the transit area of the international airport, but in this case you are much less likely to get asylum. Border guards do not have the right to refuse you entry and must issue all questionnaires and application forms to the Bureau for Foreigners. But in this case you get to one of the closed centers for refugees in the international airport zone, your living conditions will be similar to prison ones, you will find it very difficult to get the help of a lawyer or a public organization. If you contact the Bureau for Foreigners, you will not be in prison, even without documents. Therefore, most refugees go through control at the airport, and the next day they turn to the Bureau for Foreigners.
When applying to the Bureau, you need to report that you are a refugee (in English it sounds “Ay em refugi. Ai Speak Rashen”). If you do not have a valid document on the territory of the country (usually a foreign passport), say this (“Ai Heaven Music Eni Documentation Nau”). You will be invited to the waiting room, you will be given a serial number, and you will undergo the procedure of registration (photographing, fingerprinting, Interpol check). You will be provided with an interpreter (a translator from the Russian is always there), an employee will write down your personal data, ask you questions about the method of your arrival and the harassment that you were subjected to. This is the most important part of the first stage. You should immediately indicate the good reasons for your departure; the information must be consistent. Otherwise, already at this stage you may be denied access to the territory of the country. In the future you can not change the information reported. It is best to immediately come to the Bureau with a lawyer.
When applying for asylum in the Office for Foreigners, it is desirable to have as many documents as possible to confirm your identity and the history of your life (for example, birth certificate, diploma, internal passport, health certificate, etc.).
A detailed interview with you can be held on the same day or postponed. The last time the interview is most often conducted 3-4 months after the filing of the petition.
The registration procedure at the Office for Foreigners sometimes takes a full working day. In any case, at the end of the day you will be issued with an identity document, a referral to a refugee camp or for social assistance. Tickets for the train to your new place of residence you will receive if the applicants on this day are few.
The procedure for obtaining refugee status consists of two stages. At the first stage, the immigration authorities decide on access to the country; the decision is made based on the results of the first interview. At the second stage, the possibility of granting you refugee status is considered.
At the first stage, it is checked whether you have any grounds for obtaining refugee status and whether you have come from any “safe” country (see the chapter on the Dublin Convention). During the first interview, if necessary, a free translator is provided. Usually, an interview takes half an hour or two with the translation. The decision on the results of the interview will be announced to you on the same day or later.
Based on the results of the interview, you will be given one of the following documents: 1) “Annex26” (Flemish name “Bijlage26”) confirms your right to stay in Belgium and participate in the procedure for obtaining refugee status further; 2) “Annex26B” means a negative decision and orders you to leave the country within five days.
If, at the first stage, the decision of the Aliens Office is negative, you can file an “urgent appeal” with the General Commission for Refugees and Persons without Citizenship (CGRA). An appeal must be submitted within three working days after receiving a notice of refusal from the Bureau. To do this, you need to fill out a standard form and questionnaire, which can be obtained from the Bureau; for assistance in filling out, you need to contact a social worker in a refugee camp or a lawyer. A letter of appeal must be sent by mail or dropped into a box at CGRA. Then you need to wait for a letter with the date of the second interview. The filing of an appeal stops the decision on deportation. The General Commission shall conduct a second interview with the applicant. The applicant can file an application for a free lawyer to attend the interview. The General Commission must take a decision within 30 days, but this rule is often violated. Most of the appeals, filed before 2001, are still awaiting consideration. Based on the results of the repeated interview, you will either receive the document “Annex26”, which means the right to participate in the procedure for obtaining refugee status further, or give the document “Ter10”, which is an order to leave the country within three days. In appearance, all these documents are similar to each other and differ in designation in the upper right corner.
If the General Commission has adopted a negative decision, it can also be appealed. This must be done in the State Council (Conseil d’Etat) within 30 days. The filing of this appeal does not affect the decision to deport. The role of the State Council is limited to verifying the legality of the decision of the General Commission, the State Council does not recheck the facts set out in the case. The filing of this appeal is quite expensive, but you can go through it for free if you do not have sources of income. In any case, you need to use the services of a lawyer or a social worker (see below).
In this case, your deportation can be postponed only by a court decision. The court determines whether deportation can lead to serious or irreparable damage to you, and only if such danger exists, you will be allowed to remain in the country until the decision of the State Council. Usually, the State Council takes more than two years to consider this issue. If the State Council recognizes the decision of the General Commission to be illegal, then your case must be reconsidered.
If at the first stage you have received permission to stay (the reasons for leaving the country in which you were persecuted were recognized as respectful and the biography plausible), the second stage begins when the possibility of granting you refugee status is being considered.
First, your case is reviewed by the General Commission for Refugees and Persons without Citizenship (CGRA). You should be invited to re-interview, but if this is not possible, for example, for medical reasons, the decision is made on the basis of a written report requested by the Office for Aliens. The temporary restrictions, according to which the General Commission should take a decision, does not exist, but it is assumed that it takes about two months. In practice, this may take from two months to two years.
The second interview reminds the first, but it is much more detailed. An attorney can attend this interview. You will try to find out the same thing as the first time: the details of the biography, the reasons for the persecution, the evidence, etc. Even if you are completely different people, remember that they have already read your case and the text of the first interview, and if you start saying something else, your question may be decided in favor of deportation. Not the least role can play your profession and your knowledge of the French (Flemish) language or the desire to learn it. Usually information about the results of the interview is sent by mail, at least two weeks later, but usually much later.
If the General Commission has made a negative decision, you can appeal to the Commission on Appeals (CPRR) within 15 days of receipt of the notice of refusal. The filing of an appeal stops the decision on deportation. The appeal must be written in French or Flemish and is well-founded, it is better to draft it with the help of a lawyer. Since May 1993, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is no longer a member of the Appeals Commission, but can express its opinion if you or one of the official organizations request it. On average, the passage of all instances before the Appeals Commission takes at least a year.
If you are refused from the Appeals Commission, you can appeal to the Council of State within 60 days. The filing of this appeal does not suspend the decision to deport; Deportation can be postponed only by a court decision.
The State Council only controls the legality of the decision of the Appeals Commission and does not recheck the facts set out in the case. At each stage of the appeal you receive a response by mail, so if you moved, it is very important to inform the organization where your appeal is located. All appeals must be written correctly, reasoned and in French or Flemish. Those who live in refugee camps can receive legal advice and assistance in the transfer from social workers. You can write an appeal yourself, but it is very important to consult, because the decision often depends entirely on what is written in your appeal. Those who live outside the camp, first of all can apply for consultations in the center of CPAS at the place of residence. In addition, you can go to public organizations, the list of which is at the end of the chapter.
Only after a positive response based on the results of the second interview you get refugee status and residence permit in Belgium. In five years you have the right to apply for citizenship.
Text edition: Sergey Denver, Quito, Ecuador. Reprint is prohibited.