The fact that a request for international protection is submitted in Belgium does not automatically mean that Belgium will also process the request. The rules for determining which country is responsible for treating a request for international protection were laid down in the so-called Dublin Regulation.
When you apply for international protection in Belgium, the Immigration Office will firstly verify whether Belgium is responsible for processing your request. If this should not be the case, and if another European country would prove to be responsible for your request, you’ll be sent back to the responsible European country. You’re request will be handled there.
How do I know which country is responsible for handling my request for international protection?
- If you have a family member who’s already recognised as a refugee (or has an ongoing procedure) in another EU-country, that country will most likely be responsible for your request as well.
- If none of your family members are recognised as refugees in Europe, the responsible country is the one for which you hold a residence permit or a visa.
- If you do not hold a visa or residence permit (and have therefore entered Europe illegally you have therefore entered European territory illegally), the responsible country is the one through which you first entered the European territory.
How do I know whether Belgium is responsible for my request for international protection?
- If no criteria of EU law (Dublin regulation) apply to your situation.
- If the responsible European country refuses to take care of you.
- If another European country is responsible but your transfer has not taken place within 6 months of acceptance, then Belgium automatically becomes responsible for your application.
However, if you applied for international protection as an unaccompanied minor, the rules for which European country is responsible for your application (Dublin Regulation) are different. The Immigration Office will thoroughly analyse your situation and examine whether you have relatives who legally reside in another European country. If so, the Immigration Office will ask this country to handle your request for international protection.