Another European country is responsible for my application

The Immigration Office checks whether Belgium or another European country will handle your application for international protection. This is called the 'Dublin regulation’.

When you apply for international protection in Belgium, the Immigration Office will check whether Belgium is responsible for processing your application.

If, according to EU rules (the Dublin Regulation), another European country is responsible, you will be sent back to that country so that they can handle your application.

Which country has to handle my application?

  • As a priority, the country where you have a family member who is already recognised as a refugee or who has a procedure ongoing.
  • If you do not have a family member in this situation, the responsible country is the one where you have a residence permit or a visa.
  • If you do not have a visa or residence permit (you have therefore entered European territory illegally), the responsible country is the one via which you entered Europe.

What happens if another European country is responsible for my application?

The Immigration Office will ask this country to handle your application. If this country agrees, the Immigration Office will organise your trip to this country.

In which case will Belgium be responsible for handling my application?

  • If no criteria of EU law (Dublin regulation) apply to your situation
  • If the responsible European country refuses to take care of you
  • If another European country is responsible but your transfer has not taken place within 6 months of acceptance, then Belgium automatically becomes responsible for your application.

If the Immigration Office believes that you have "absconded" (i.e. you are not at the address you gave and you cannot be found) or if you are in prison, this period is extended.

If you are an unaccompanied foreign minor, the rules are different.