Capacity issues at Aliens Office

Due to capacity issues in its waiting room, the Aliens’ Office was forced to turn away 50 asylum-seekers on Monday morning. Over 300 people turned up at the Aliens’ Office in Brussels on Monday, the highest figure since the peak in asylum requests began.

260 asylum-seekers were able to be dealt with. The Aliens’ Office’s Geert De Vulder told the VRT that “We were able to register them, giving priority to vulnerable groups such as women with young children and single women”.

The 50 people that were turned away today will be treated as priority cases tomorrow. However, the risk is real that then as today the Aliens’ Office won’t be able to cope with the volume of asylum-seekers waiting to register.

The queue outside the Aliens’ Office formed very earlier on Monday morning with asylum-seekers wanting to be certain to be able to register. Among those registering on Monday were a lot of would-be asylum-seekers from Syria, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr De Vulder confirms that there has been a daily increase in the number of asylum requests over the past few weeks.

"You can say that there has been an increase every day. The number has increased continuously since 22 July. There isn’t enough capacity in our waiting room and we currently don’t have a solution.”
Those that are able to register are given accommodation by the Federal Asylum Agency Fedasil.

Extra accommodation in place

The first mobile pre-fab accommodation for asylum-seekers has arrived at the Fedasil reception centres at Arendonk (Antwerp province) and Jodoigne (Walloon Brabant). A total of 150 units will be put in place, providing temporary accomodation for around 900 asylum-seekers.

The units will be put in place at 13 Fedasil reception centres: Arendonk, Broechem, Kapellen (all Antwerp province), Sint-Truiden (Limburg), Poelkapelle (West Flanders), Bovigny (Luxembourg province), Sugny, Florennes, Pondrôme (all Namur province), Charleroi, Morlanwelz (both Hainaut), Jodoigne and Rixensart (both Walloon Brabant). (photo below: Jodoigne)