What about Asylum Seekers Refused from Asylum? Findings from Belgium

Wanli Nie, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Mireille Le Guen, Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques
Bruno D. Schoumaker , Universite catholique de Louvain (UCL)

While most studies have focused on the transition from asylum seekers to refugee, revealing for instance a reduction in the length of the procedure to obtain the refugee status, we know little about people who were denied refugee status. By considering that irregularity is “legally produced” by immigration policies, which depend on social, economic and political contexts, we studied in this paper the changes in experiencing irregularity among asylum seekers in Belgium between 2007 and 2014. Using information from the Belgian National register, an exhaustive list of all individuals legally residing or having resided in the country, on asylum procedure and residence permit history available, we defined ‘irregularity’ as periods without a residence permit of at least one month. Due to changes on asylum procedure in 2006, our analysis was limited to asylum seekers arrived in Belgium between 2007 and 2014 and who were 18 years of age or older at the time of their arrival, that was 86,532 individuals observed during 3.56 years in average. Our results show that the probability of experiencing irregularity has increased over time, considering that asylum seekers who arrived more recently were more likely to fall in irregularity. In other words, increase in granting for refugee or subsidiary protection in Belgium did not lead to a decrease in irregularity. Finally, our results show that probability of experiencing irregularity depended of citizenship at arrival revealing, which is also related to strong variations in the granting of refugee- or subsidiary protection status by origins.

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 Presented in Session 72. Naturalization and Citizenship