Resettlement makes it possible for refugees to enter a third country legally and safely. Resettlement is the selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they have sought protection, to a third country that has agreed to admit them as refugees with a permanent residence status. There are, however, only few available places. Each year, many more people wish to be resettled than there are places available.

There is no entitlement to resettlement. Each country determines independently the number of resettlement places and the countries from which refugees will be admitted. In the past, Belgium has resettled Syrian refugees from Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, Congolese refugees from the Great Lakes area and refugees from Niger. More information on this can be found here.

Submissions for resettlement are made from the country in which you or your family member/relative is living as a refugee. UNHCR in that country is responsible for determining the need for resettlement and for deciding as to whether a case should be submitted for resettlement. UNHCR identifies individuals for resettlement in accordance with the vulnerability criteria defined in the Resettlement Handbook. It is then the asylum/migration authorities in the resettlement countries who decide which cases to accept for resettlement. This decision is, amongst other things, based on the resettlement countries’ allocation of their resettlement quota/places.

The UNHCR Office in Belgium is not responsible for the selection of persons for resettlement. If you currently have an ongoing resettlement procedure or you wish to obtain information about resettlement, please contact UNHCR in the country you are currently living in.

There are no resettlement programs for persons who are already in Belgium to be resettled to another state such as Canada or the United States.

For more information on resettlement and how it works, please see UNHCR’s resettlement webpage. UNHCR also has a brochure with Frequently Asked Questions about resettlement, available here.

See also

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