Fewer asylum seekers in centres, says Migration Secretary

Fewer asylum seekers in centres, says Migration Secretary
Credit: Belga / Benoît Doppagne

Almost 1,200 asylum seekers have left reception centres over the last few months, with fewer than 3,000 people now on Fedasil’s waiting list, says State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole De Moor.

De Moor announced these latest figures on Friday, which indicate the first drop in a long time in the number of asylum seekers waiting to be housed in Belgium.

The State Secretary attributed the drop to additional measures the Federal Government introduced earlier this year to combat the country's reception crisis. Ministers agreed to introduce reforms which De Moor said would "give Belgium more control over migration."

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She stated that these changes have now borne fruit as administrative procedures have sped up. For example, 896 people have left reception centres due to stricter monitoring of asylum seekers who have stayed for over three years. 253, on the other hand, have left due to finding employment.

Moreover, more decisions on asylum seekers' status have been taken due to increased numbers of staff at the General Commissioner for Refugees and Stateless Persons. 2,677 cases were finalised in March, compared to the previous monthly average of 2,000.

Authorities also had to contend with over 120 applications from Moldovan asylum seekers in March due to renewed fears of Russian aggression. However, De Moor claimed that the number of these applications halved in April, after stating that Moldovans had "virtually no chance of obtaining asylum in Belgium."

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