Until now the Belgian immigration department in Brussels, the government's asylum agency Fedasil and the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and the Stateless were all located within three minutes' walking distance.
In future asylum seekers will first have to head for Klein Kasteeltje/Petit Chateau to register, but asylum secretary Francken has plans to move this office to Neder-Over-Heembeek on the outskirts of the City of Brussels. The plans could not be realised in time because the Brussels authorities have not yet issued a building permit for the works needed. Klein Kasteeltje will be razed to the ground in time. Renovation is too expensive.
Once registered asylum seekers are allotted accommodation somewhere in Belgium. They are then invited to Brussels for an interview. In future interviews will be held in a new office of the Pachecolaan.
Later in-depth interviews are organised by the Office of the Commissioner General and these will take place in an office near the South Station! It’s certainly a good way of getting to know Brussels!
Changes all around there, but as one commentator put it, for single men it will make little difference. For the past ten days they have been turned away from the immigration department and have been unable to apply for asylum. No more than fifty applications are being dealt with per day and families with children, single women and people with challenges are getting priority.