The below organizations provide assistance in different areas and usually have a helpdesk. Please be informed that this list is not exhaustive. Click on the organizations’ name to view more information.
Agentschap Integratie & Inburgering
Agentschap Integratie & Inburgering is a Flemish governmental agency which provides assistance with regards to integration, civic integration and orientation to Dutch classes (see Integration). The agency also provides legal assistance in immigration and private international law (through a webpage (www.vreemdelingenrecht.be (in Dutch) and a phone helpdesk).
Association pour le droit des étrangers (ADDE)
ADDE is a non-governmental research centre based in Brussels which studies issues related to migration and cultural diversity and promotes the rights of foreigners. The centre also answers legal questions (through a phone helpdesk and on appointment) and has a social service (on appointment only). ADDE does not intervene in job search or housing.
More information (in French) on the legal helpdesk can be found here.
Information (in French) on different topics of immigration law is available here.
For an extensive list of other help services (legal, social, medical, psychological, material aid, sociocultural activities and education) (in French) you can visit this page.
Aide aux Personnes Déplacées
Aide aux Personnes Déplacées is a non-profit and non-governmental organization in Wallonia that provides administrative, legal and psycho-social assistance to all migrants (through phone helpdesk and on appointment) and organizes civic integration and French language classes.
Aide aux Personnes Déplacées is located in Liège, Namur and Braine-le-Comte.
More information on the helpdesks of the social services can be found here.
Caritas International is an international non-governmental organization. In Belgium, Caritas International is based in Brussels and it organizes the reception of applicants of international protection, assists refugees with integration issues, provides support to migrants in Belgium with regards to family reunification and voluntary return. Caritas International also visits migrants in detention centres and has established a team of professional guardians for unaccompanied minors.
More information can be found here.
Centrum Algemeen Welzijnswerk (CAW)
The Centrum Algemeen Welzijnswerk is a Flemish network-organization made up of 11 centres spread across Flanders and Brussels.
The CAW provides advice and counselling on a diverse range of topics (mental health, administration issues and others), including on migration issues.
In addition, CAW may provide (temporary) shelter to those in need.
For more information (in Dutch) on how to contact CAW (by email, phone, chat or visit) visit this page.
Convivial is a non-profit organization and since 2020 recognized as an official integration agency (BAPA – see Integration) for newcomers with legal stay (including refugees) in Brussels. Convivial provides support through social assistance (administrative, legal, psychological, family reunification), French language and civic integration classes.
Convivial also provides psycho-social help and guidance in job search, housing assistance and material assistance to refugees.
For more information (in French) on how to contact Convivial visit this page.
Coordination et initiatives pour réfugiés et étrangers (CIRE)
CIRE is a non-profit organization, grouping 24 non-profit organizations in Wallonia and Brussels, which defend the rights of all migrants through advocacy and awareness raising and provides multiple services including socio-legal support, workshops for migrants with legal stay (civic integration, called ‘ateliers citoyens’), French classes, housing assistance and assistance for education and professional projects. More information on the different services (in French only) can be found here.
More information (in French) on the legal support helpdesk (by phone and on-site – on appointment only) can be found here.
On their website you can also find a list of organizations and services in Brussels and Wallonia providing legal, social and/or psycho-medical assistance.
De Federale Ombudsman – Médiateur fédéral
De Federale Ombudsman – Médiateur fédéral is a national independent and neutral body that investigates complaints about the functioning and performances of a federal administrative body.
For an exhaustive list of the types of complaints that the Federal Ombudsman investigates, visit the website of the Federal Ombudsman.
Located in Verviers (Wallonia), Espace 28 is a non-profit organization providing local services and support to migrants, especially applicants of international protection and refugees, including through legal and psychological support (social service). Espace28 also offers French language and civic integration courses for migrants with legal stay and activities in collectivity.
For more information (in French) on the helpdesk and different services provided visit this page.
Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)
JRS Belgium is a national non-profit organization committed to accompany, inform and defend the rights of migrants in detention centres and return houses.
For more information on how to contact JRS (in English, Dutch and French) visit this page.
For more information about JRS (in Italian, Spanish, Russian, Georgian, Armenian, Chinese, Albanian) visit this page.
Myria, the Belgian Federal Migration Centre, is an independent public institution based in Brussels, that analyses migration and offers legal advice and information on migration issues (through phone helpdesk and on-site – on appointment only).
Myria is the implementing partner of UNHCR in Belgium regarding family reunification.
More information (in English, French, Dutch and German) on the legal helpdesk can be found here.
NANSEN is an independent national centre of expertise on international protection, based in Brussels. NANSEN is specialized in helping victims of torture, stateless persons and persons in administrative detention. NANSEN offers personalized advice in individual cases, visits and monitors detention centers and offers support to lawyers.
NANSEN is the implementing partner of UNHCR in Belgium regarding the international protection procedure and detention.
For more information (in English, Dutch and French) on how to request advice or information visit this page.
Openbaar Centrum voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn (OCMW)- Centre Public d'Action Sociale (CPAS)
The OCMW/CPAS is a governmental agency which provides several social services to people who have insufficient means of subsistence or do not have a permanent place of residence. Social services include financial assistance, emergency medical aid, social emergency, etc.
Every municipality or city has its own OCMW/CPAS office. If you want to apply for social assistance from the OCMW/CPAS, you are encouraged to visit their office in your municipality. You can find the contact details of each OCMW/CPAS office on the following websites:
- For Flanders: https://www.vlaanderen.be/gemeenten-en-provincies/overzicht
- For Wallonia: https://www.uvcw.be/communes/liste-cpas.htm
- For Brussels: https://www.avcb-vsgb.be/fr/Communes/
Plateforme Citoyenne de Soutien aux Réfugiés – BXL Refugees
Plateforme Citoyenne de Soutien aux Réfugiés is a non-profit organization providing first-line support, including temporary housing, in Brussels and beyond. It has a social and legal service and offers free language classes (French and English).
For more information (in English and Arabic) on the social and legal service (on appointment only) and language classes visit this page.
Point d’Appui A.S.B.L
Located in Liège (Wallonia), Point d’Appui A.S.B.L is a non-profit organization providing legal support to migrants, especially to persons staying in Belgium irregularly and persons in precarious stay (including applicants of international protection).
For more information (in French) on how to contact Point d’Appui A.S.B.L for an appointment visit this page.
Samusocial is an association active in Brussels, providing free emergency support (shelter, medical, psychosocial support) to homeless people. Samusocial also runs a reception centre for applicants of international protection in Brussels (Neder-Over-Hembeek).
Samusocial has a 24/24 phone helpdesk. For more information (in French and Dutch) visit this page.
For more information (in French and Dutch) on the different reception arrangements visit this page.
Groupe Sireas is a non-profit organization located in Brussels, Namur and Liège (Wallonia), which supports migrants in accessing their rights in Belgium, including applying for residence and work permit, social security, housing, health, schooling, etc. (social and legal service). Groupe Sireas also provides different trainings to enhance socio-professional integration.
Steunpunt Asiel & Migratie vzw
Steunpunt Asiel & Migratie vzw is a non-profit organization active in Mechelen (Flanders) committed to help all migrants. Steunpunt Asiel & Migratie gives judicial advice and administrative support (incl. finding a home) and psychosocial support and provides food support to people dealing with precarious residence permits.
For more information (in French, Dutch, English) visit this site.
Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen – the Flemish Refugee Action – is a Flemish non-profit organization, grouping 30 member associations, supporting applicants of international protection and refugees. Its activities are based on four pillars: increase social support and raise awareness among the public; monitor and defend applicants of international protection and refugees’ rights at the policy level (advocacy); support professional and volunteer advisers and counselors and mobilize associations and individuals. Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen also provides assistance to newly arrived migrants (through its ‘startpunt’) and visits detention centres.
Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen has a hotline for all questions related to applicants of international protection and refugees and a legal helpdesk.
For more information (in Dutch) visit this page.
The website also contains useful information (in Dutch) on different topics of immigration law (and regularly publishes reports and opinions on new developments/law).