02:45 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Migrants wait in a makeshift tent camp in a park in Brussels on September 9, 2015, as they wait to have their asylum claims processed

    Belgium to Impose Five-Year Limit on Refugee Status

    © AFP 2019 / EMMANUEL DUNAND
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    Belgium could require the refugees to leave the country five years after acquiring the status, with the exception of "completely integrated" refugees, according to new draft bill.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – Refugees in Belgium may be required to leave the country five years after acquiring the status, according to draft legislation reported by local media on Friday.

    The draft bill states that refugee status may be renewed if the situation in the individual’s home country improves, according to the De Tijd daily. Otherwise, third-country nationals granted refugee status in Belgium will be required to leave once the status expires.

    Family members who have reunited with refugees would be entitled to residence status for the amount of time left on the receiving side.

    People queue in order to get inside a newly established reception center for migrants and refugees close to Croatia's border with Serbia, in the town of Opatovac, Croatia
    © AP Photo / Marko Drobnjakovic
    Exceptions are made to refugees and reunited families who have "completely integrated" into Belgian society.

    The publication reported an 11-percent spike in benefits given to Belgians this year, expected to increase even further with the European migrant crisis that escalated this summer and fall.

    The International Organization for Migration said Friday nearly 991,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe so far, on track to pass the 1-million mark this year.

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