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.

From 2013 to today

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. Since this date, 1.226 refugees have been resettled in Belgium, among them 1.028 Syrian refugees.

  • 2013: 100 refugees, a vast majority of Burundian and Congolese refugees staying in camps in Tanzania and Burundi;
  • 2014: 34 refugees (Syrian refugees from Turkey);
  • 2015: 276 refugees, a vast majority of Syrian refugees from Lebanon and Congolese refugees from Burundi; 
  • 2016: 452 refugees, a vast majority of Syrian refugees from Lebanon and Turkey. 
  • 2017 (until 22 May): 364 Syrian refugees from Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.