Resettlement is about the selection and transfer of refugees from a country where they have sought protection to a third country which has previously agreed to grant them the right to permanent residence. It is a measure intended to offer a solution to those who cannot return to their countries of origin and cannot obtain sufficient protection or have no local integration prospects in the first host country either.

A complement to asylum

Resettlement is entirely complementary to the national asylum procedure. By making efforts in the area of resettlement, Belgium ensures an integrated policy of international protection. On the one hand, protection can be offered to asylum seekers who arrive here spontaneously by means of the national asylum procedure. On the other hand, by means of resettlement, protection can also be provided to the most vulnerable refugees in the world.

Since 2009, Belgium regularly organizes resettlement operations, together with the UNHCR and the European Union. 

Since 2013 Belgium has a structural resettlement programme, which means that our country offers every year protection to a number of vulnerable refugees.

In 2013 100 refugees were selected: refugees from the Great Lakes region in Africa and a group of particularly vulnerable persons from different regions of the world.

In 2014 Belgium has resettled 100 refugees: 75 Syrians fleeing the fighting in Syria as well as 25 Congolese refugees from the Great Lakes region.

In 2015 Belgium has resettled 300 refugees: 225 Syrian refugees from Lebanon and 75 Congolese refugees from the Great Lakes region. 

In 2016 Belgium aims to resettle a total of 550 refugees, with a majority of Syrians.