The figure comes from the Belgian Asylum Secretary Theo Francken, who is closely monitoring the situation. The figure is not a final one as the names of several failed asylum seekers could still be added to the list as the numbers are processed.
The figure is up 76% in comparison with only a year ago when 319 failed asylum seekers left Belgium under the voluntary scheme. The rise is linked to greater willingness to return among asylum seekers from Iraq, who have realised that they stand little chance of being recognised here. So far this year 560 Iraqis have left. In 2014 the figure was a mere 58.
The number of people claiming asylum in Belgium remains historically high. In October 4,800 applications were made in comparison with 5,512 in September.