Resettlement to Belgium

Within the framework of the European Resettlement programme, Belgium has put in place a structural resettlement project in 2013.

Every year, Belgium is offering resettlement places to a certain number of vulnerable refugees, in need of international protection.

IOM supports the Government of Belgium with travel and other resettlement related services upon request of the governmental agencies dealing with the implementation of the resettlement programme, namely the Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (Fedasil) and the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons (CGRS).

IOM carries out pre-departure health assessments based on the guidelines received from Fedasil. These health assessments are carried to ensure that people travel in a safe and dignified manner, receive appropriate assistance when required and do not pose a health risk towards other travelers or the receiving communities.

Moreover, IOM assists Fedasil in providing pre-departure orientation and pre-embarkation training. The training consists of interactive games and exercises with the refugees on different cultures, traditions, norms and values and tackles the phenomenon of culture shock. This training is key to prepare the refugees for a successful integration into Belgian society.

For the travel of the refugees, IOM facilitates the visa processing, books the domestic and international flights and provides assistance pre-departure, during transit as well as on arrival in Brussels, where IOM facilitates the immigration and customs checks.

In 2019 so far, 233 refugees travelled to Belgium within the frame of the resettlement programme. All 233 refugees are of Syrian nationality. The majority of them, 215, are coming from Turkey while the remaining travelled from Jordan and Lebanon. IOM carried out a fit-to-travel check to all refugees, assisted with the visa collection and organised the transfer to Belgium.

Since the onset of the Syria crisis, IOM has been involved in the coordination mechanisms for humanitarian response and has continued to operate ongoing resettlement and humanitarian admission programmes from within the region. IOM’s resettlement operations in countries neighbouring Syria, as well as in Syria itself have continued to support refugees and states, including pre-departure health assessments, pre-departure logistics for visa processing and travel documents, pre-departure orientation sessions and movement management.

For more information, contact Mrs Evi Vermeulen (evermeulen@iom.int, tel: +32 (0)2 287 74 23)