The main migration policy instruments in Belgium:
Non-exhaustive list of key policy documents in the area of migration:
- National policies and legislation:
- Law of 15 December 1980 on entry to the territory, residence, establishment and removal of foreign nationals serves as the basic legislation.
- An overview of all additions, adaptations and updates of the law of 15 December 1980 is available here.
- Link to recent publications of the European Migration Network.
- Link to Belgium’s national law database.
- EU legislation (transposed into national law):
- Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
- Directive 2013/32 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection
- Directive 2011/95 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on standards for the qualification of third-country nationals or stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection, and for the content of the protection granted
- Link to the adopted EU legislation on Migration and Home Affairs
- Ratified international treaties:
- 1953/1969: ratification of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.
- 2004: ratification of the 2000 Protocols on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants.
The main ministries in charge of migration affairs in Belgium:
- Federal Public Service Home Affairs: main body dealing with identity and population; security and civil protection; international relations regarding asylum and migration policies. Works together with its subordinate authorities, out of which:
- Immigration Office: The Immigration office is responsible for the entry and residence of foreign nationals to the country and the registration of the applications for international protection. Further they monitor the arrival and stay of foreign nationals on the territory and they are responsible for the removal of persons without legal documents to stay.
- Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless persons (independent authority) : The CGRS examines every application for international protection in an individual, objective and impartial manner and takes a decision on the legal documents to stay.
- Under the supervision of the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration: Fedasil, an 'Institution of general interest type A’ : Fedasil is responsible for the reception of persons who introduced an application for international protection. In addition Fedasil is responsible for the observation and orientation of unaccompanied minors, for the voluntary return program and resettlement to Belgium.
- Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs: foreign policy aspects of migration; migration and development affairs, visa and travel documents.
- Federal Public Service Justice: implements legislation on nationality; manages the guardianship service for unaccompanied minors; works on policy and legislation concerning prosecution and conviction related to trafficking and smuggling in human beings.
- The Federal Police falls under the Minister of Justice and is competent for removals (monitoring and escort), border control, operational control of trafficking and smuggling in human beings and identity fraud.
- Federated entities: the regions (Flemish Region, Brussels-Capital Region, Walloon Region) and Communities (Flemish Community, French Community, German-speaking Community) are competent for i.a. legislation, implementation, control and issuing of work permits and professional cards; education and integration policies; foreign students; and recognition of foreign diplomas.
Last update: January 2019