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EMN - European Migration Network, National Contact Point Belgium

Law modifying Asylum Seekers Reception Act published

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On February 17,2012 the law of January 19, 2012: “Law for modification of the legislation regarding the reception of asylum seekers” was published.

The law is stipulating that asylum seekers introducing a second asylum application can no longer benefit from reception, unless their asylum claim is deemed admissible by the Immigration Office. (Before the material assistance was suspended after a third asylum claim that was considered admissible).

This law is also restricting the social services support to Union citizens and their family members and amends Article 57ter of the Law of 8 July 1976 (Public Centre for Social Welfare-Act). Union Citizens and their family members are no longer eligible to benefit from the Public Centre for Social Welfare during the first three months of residence.

The law of 19 January is also introducing the “return path”. This is an individual counseling offered by the Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Fedasil) which stipulates the rights and obligations of the asylum seeker and stipulates a specific timing for the return. The “return path” gives priority to voluntary return. At the latest 5 days after the negative decision of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons the asylum seeker is informed about the return path.

The right on reception ends when the order to leave the territory has expired. To enhance the individual preparation of the return the deadline to comply with the order to leave the territory was prolonged from 5 days to 30 days.

The law can be downloaded here in French and in Dutch

 

An other law of 19 January, also published in the Official Gazette on 17 February 2012, modifies the Immigration Law. One of the most remarkable aspects of this law is the introduction of the safe country of origin-concept into national legislation. An asylum seeker comming from a safe country of origin will have to fulfil higher standards of proof.

This law can be downloaded here in French and in Dutch.