Opening of arrival centre in Brussels

This Monday 3 December, the ‘Petit-Château’ has become an ‘arrival centre’ for asylum seekers who have just arrived in Belgium.

The reception centre ‘Petit-Château’ becomes the single registration point for persons who want to apply for ‘international protection’ (asylum) in Belgium.

Since this 3 December 2018, people who want to apply for protection in Belgium have to go to the Petit-Château – along the channel in Brussels. The centre, managed by Fedasil, now comprises the services in charge of the registration of asylum applications and of the appointment of a reception place. 

In practical terms, the Registration service of the Immigration Office as well as the Dispatching of Fedasil are leaving the WTC II tower (North Station) to settle in the Petit-Château.

What is changing?

The Petit-Château remains an open reception centre managed by Fedasil. However, asylum seekers will be staying for a short time (normally a few days) in the arrival centre. The capacity of the centre is still of 800 reception places.

The asylum seekers are now following a uniform arrival path: registration of the application, identification, security screening, medical examination, social intake, appointment of a reception location. This path takes place over several days, which will make it possible to better prepare the reception, to give more information and to better coordinate the activities of the Immigration Office and of Fedasil.

The Information point of Fedasil is also moving from the WTC tower to the Petit-Château.

A new entrance was established on Passchendaele Street for those who come to register their application. The main entrance of the Petit-Château, on the channel side, is reserved for those staying in the centre and visitors.

Fedasil is working jointly with the local police who pays particular attention to the opening of the centre.

Future centre in Neder-Over-Heembeek

The arrival centre in the Petit-Château is a temporary solution, pending the definitive opening of a new arrival centre on the site of the military hospital in Neder-over-Heembeek.