Processing time of asylum applications

The CGRS is working on clearing the backlog

After a decrease due to the Covid crisis, the number of applications for international protection has risen sharply since the second half of 2020. This led to a significant increase in the caseload at the CGRS.

As a result, the CGRS is currently unable to process all applications in a short time. This means that waiting times will be longer for the applicants concerned. The CGRS is aware that this situation of uncertainty can be a source of anxiety.

However, the CGRS does everything it can, in the current Covid-related circumstances, to limit waiting times in the asylum procedure and to reduce its new backlog, without compromising on quality regarding the processing of applications. For the CGRS, a qualitative, detailed and individual examination remains a priority.

At the end of December 2020, a total of 12,663 dossiers were awaiting a decision at the CGRS. By the end of July 2021, the total caseload amounted to 15,791 dossiers (19,507 persons).

Applications are not processed on a chronological basis

The CGRS is obliged by law to process the following applications as a priority:

  • from persons who lodge a subsequent application;
  • from persons who already have a protection status in another EU member state;
  • from detained persons;
  • from persons coming from a safe country of origin.

For these types of application, which have sharply increased in number in 2020 and 2021, the CGRS has to render a decision shortly after receiving the dossier from the Immigration Department.

A plan to clear the backlog

Since 2019, several measures have been taken to reinforce the asylum system so as to clear the new backlog and be able to take decisions in a short time for all applications. Under these measures, new staff has been recruited by the CGRS. Most of our new recruits started work at the CGRS at the end of 2019 and in early 2020.

Due to the particular Covid context, these additional staff have not yet produced the expected results. In this context, the CGRS had to suspend the asylum interviews for a few months, and after their resumption, the organisation of interviews and the training of our new collaborators proved more complicated. At the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, many interviews had to be cancelled due to the absence of the interviewer or applicant. We are currently returning to a more ‘normal’ situation and are now able to start clearing our backlog.

Do not contact us if you are waiting for an interview or a decision, except in a few cases

We urge you not to contact the CGRS by phone or email to inquire about the state of your dossier or an acceleration of your procedure. This will only add to the CGRS’s workload and will not accelerate the examination of your application. Thank you for your understanding.

However, if your application was made before 1 January 2019 or if your were interviewed at the CGRS more than 3 months ago and still have not received a decision, you can contact the CGRS about this.

If this is indeed your case, you can send a request for acceleration by email to the following address: cgra.info@ibz.fgov.be

We will keep you informed

Depending on the influx of applicants and the CGRS’s capacity to cope with it, processing times may vary. If necessary, the CGRS will not fail to update its information on the website.

24 August 2021