A reception centre, a safe place

If you arrive in Belgium as an unaccompanied minor, the government will ensure you have a safe environment. The police or the asylum services will take you to a reception centre. Even if you do not apply for asylum, you are entitled to a safe place to live.

The first reception centre (short stay)

After your arrival in Belgium, the asylum services or the police will take you to a reception centre for initial reception. After a short stay (about 30 days) you will move to another reception centre.

  • The first reception centre is a safe place where you can get food, clothes and shelter.
  • You live there with other unaccompanied minors.
  • It is peaceful and calm there.
  • A team of supervisors and a psychologist are ready to help you.
  • You get a guardian assigned.

Even if you do not apply for asylum in Belgium, you are entitled to a safe place to live as a minor. It's not a good idea to hang out on the street alone.

The reception centre: long stay

While you live in the reception centre for initial reception, your guardian and the supervisors will look for a suitable reception location with you where you will live for a longer period of time, often this is a Fedasil reception centre.

What is life like in a reception centre?

  • You live in a small social group together with other young people
  • A team of supervisors are ready to help you
  • If you are younger than 15 years of age or if you are especially vulnerable, you will receive extra care and guidance.
  • You go to school regularly and learn the language
  • You take part in activities and sport
  • Your guardian will visit you and help you with your school and your asylum procedure.

You cannot choose yourself in which reception centre you stay. The supervisors will take into account your situation and wishes. 

Tell your supervisors what you would like to do in terms of school, living and free time.

Are you unhappy in the reception centre?

Living in a reception centre is not always easy. You live with other people in a small area.  This can lead to stress and conflicts.

Do you need rest or do you have problems? Talk about it with your supervisor. Your supervisor can suggest that you take a Time-out. You will leave the reception centre for a few days to relax. You get the chance to talk to other supervisors about your problems.

How long do you stay in the reception centre?

You will live in the reception centre (long stay) until a decision has been taken on your application for international protection.

  • If you reach the age of 18 in the meantime, you will move to a reception centre for adults.
  • If you get a positive decision, then you may be eligible for assisted independent living.
  • If you get a negative decision and you are older than 18, then you must leave the reception centre.