Act of 1980 or of 15 December 1980 (Aliens Act): this Act, amended by the Act of 15 September 2006, refers to the access to the territory, residence, establishment and removal of foreigners. Among other things, it regulates the asylum procedure in Belgium, determines the criteria for granting refugee and subsidiary protection status, and describes the competences of the asylum authorities.
Annul (a decision): make or declare null and void. The decision is deemed never to have existed, and the case file is sent back to the authority that made the decision in order for it to make a new decision. In the case of the Belgian procedure this applies to a decision taken by the Council for alien law litigation in reference to a decision from the CGRS or the Immigration Department. The Council for alien law litigation can annul a decision from the CGRS in the framework of a full jurisdiction appeal (refusal to consider an application for asylum from a national of the European Union).
Appeal for annulment: appeal lodged against a decision of the CGRS (refusal to consider an application for asylum made by a national of the European Union or of a safe country of origin) or of the Immigration Department, to request the annulment of that decision. In the framework of this appeal the Council for alien law litigation examines the legality: it looks at whether the decision is in accordance with the law, but does not pronounce on its content. An appeal for annulment against a decision of the CGRA is non-suspensive.
Asylum: possibility for a person who flees his/her country for reasons of persecution or serious harm to obtain protection from another country on that country’s soil. Asylum comprises different elements, including the principle of non-refoulement, the right of residence in the host country and several social rights.
Application for asylum which does not proceed to judgment: decision of the CGRS when an application for asylum no longer has any reason to exist, concretely when the asylum seeker has voluntarily waived his/her application for asylum, has returned to his/her country of origin, has been regularised or has deceased in the course of the procedure.
Asylum procedure: series of stages and formalities the asylum seeker must complete from the moment he/she makes the application to the final decision.
Asylum seeker: person who has left his/her country of origin and asks for protection by submitting a request for international protection. The potential host country has not taken any final decision with respect to this person yet, i.e. it has not been demonstrated yet whether the asylum seeker fulfils the conditions to obtain refugee status or subsidiary protection. Not every asylum seeker is recognised as a refugee at the end of the procedure, but every refugee is initially an asylum seeker.