Assimilation of refugees in Belgium

How is the integration of refugees in Belgium, an overview of programs

One of the main problems for refugees and immigrants is integration into a new social society. This is expressed in the difficulty of adapting to living conditions, in communicating with the local population. You can take integration courses in Belgium for refugees, which offer solutions to most of these problems. This approach will help you improve the comfort of your stay in the country, improve your social skills.

How is the assimilation of refugees

The first stage is the issuance of a residence permit in Belgium. During the interview, CPAS or Fedasil social workers will help determine the difficulties of future adaptation in a new social environment. It depends on your age, professional and personal skills, family composition, preferences. You can use the standard program for integration into Belgian society or ask to develop an individual one.

Refugee integration programs in Belgium

What does the standard integration program for refugees include:

  • residence in the country. They will explain to you how to register a child in a kindergarten or school, the features of health insurance.
  • Language classes. For a comfortable stay in the country, you need to know one of the official Belgian languages – Dutch, French or German. There are separate programs for adults and children.
  • Search for housing. Consider several accommodation options – in a special camp, in a rented apartment or in a Belgian family.
  • After the first stage of integration in Belgium, you can start looking for a job. Representatives from CPAS and Fedasil will help explore ways to analyze the labor market in Belgium.

An important part of assimilation is taking into account the place of residence. The country has several regions – Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels. They differ not only in the state language, but also in customs, social characteristics, and standard of living. It is convenient for a refugee to stay in Brussels, where one can always find work. However, the capital has the highest prices for housing, food, and entertainment. This must be taken into account when choosing a region of residence.

Tip: before coming to the country, study the reviews of immigrants about a particular region or province. This will help create an objective view of this part of Belgium.

Integration of refugees in Flanders

Flanders is located on the border of Belgium and France. Refugees and immigrants most often come to this region of the country. To receive assimilation services, you need to contact one of the offices of the Civil Integration Agency. Contact information can be found on the official website – There are also addresses of offices in Brussels and other municipalities.

Social services of Flanders

The integration program consists of language courses, employment assistance and social adaptation in a new environment. Classes are group, they are attended by employees of the Agency and volunteers. This approach helps in the rapid integration of Refugees in Belgium for your further adaptation to new conditions.

Tip: study the map of the location and addresses of the offices of the Civil Integration Agency. You can choose an office located close to where you live.

Social program

The courses involve a detailed study of the features of finding housing, work, obtaining primary or higher education. Separately, they consider the issues of the rights and obligations of refugees under the current Belgian law. The goal of the program is to teach you to find answers to new questions on your own. Classes are conducted in your native language or in English. Lessons are held in classrooms, there are separate tasks in digital form, often the group travels to new places to change locations.

After passing the program, you need to pass the test. It consists of questions about the state structure of Belgium, public features. Its result will allow you to determine how ready you are for integration as a refugee into the Belgian society. The task of the test is to find possible gaps in knowledge, perhaps to take a second or additional course.

Dutch language, learning

The agency does not teach Dutch, but can help you choose courses. Language integration of refugees in Belgium is the basis for quick and comfortable adaptation in the country. Courses are designed for different levels of students – from basic to advanced. The advantage of this approach is communication with native speakers, its rapid assimilation.

Learning Dutch for Immigrants

For those living in Brussels, we recommend contacting Huis van het Nederlands – Home of the Dutch language. This organization specializes in teaching for all categories of students – children, adults. For each group, an individual program has been drawn up, many teaching aids. At the end of the course, an exam is taken to determine the actual level of Dutch language proficiency.

Important: after obtaining basic knowledge, we recommend that you do not stop and constantly improve in learning the state Belgian language.

Search for housing and work

Finding a place of permanent residence is the first task for integrating a refugee in Belgium. At the first stage, you can stay in the camp, but in the future we recommend renting an apartment, part of a house or finding a Belgian family that will agree to host you. Public services will help in finding an apartment, advise official real estate websites and companies. The composition of the family, the location of schools, kindergartens in a particular area of the city are taken into account.

To look for work in Flanders, you will be referred to VDAB. If you are staying in Brussels, you need to contact Actiris. First, they will conduct a survey with you, determine professional and personal qualities. The list of vacancies is updated several times a week.

Important: Refugees need a special permit to work in Belgium. Informal employment is not permitted by local law and may result in expulsion from the country.

Region of Wallonia

There are almost the same integration conditions for refugees in Belgium as in Flanders. There are 8 CRI centers in the region, the addresses and location of which can be found on the official website of the municipality – For more information, call 081/327 211 or send an email request to

Assimilation of immigrants in Wallonia

Features of the integration course:

  • Basic information. The program includes training in the rights and obligations of a newcomer, an overview of the initial social support. You will be told how to find housing, work, get social or medical assistance.
  • French language training. The course includes 400 hours of lessons, they are conducted in the language that you know. Compulsory testing at the end of training.
  • Knowledge of laws and regulations. This program provides 60 hours of classes.
  • Vocational training for a new working specialty.

Courses for the integration of refugees in Belgium are free. They are run by teachers or volunteers. The main task of the process is the smooth introduction of new information to immigrants. At any stage of training, you can ask for additional advice, information support.