The Immigration Office recorded 4,760 asylum applications in October, a slight decrease from September’s figures (5,472). The daily number of requests by Iraqi refugees has also gone down. In September, the Immigration Office recorded between 80 and 100 a day, compared to only 20 now, said Dominique Ernould, spokesman for the Foreign Office, on Tuesday.
This drop is mainly due to the September 3rd decision by the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons to freeze all asylum applications made by people from Iraq and Baghdad. This measure has since been lifted.
Furthermore, it now only takes 24 to 48 hours for asylum seekers to be called to the Immigration Office. Last week, it cut the number of recorded cases from 250 to 150 per day but compensated for this by hiring dozens of extra officers who are now conducting hearings at WTC III. Other Immigration Office employees are also auditioning refugees on level -1.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)