An unaccompanied foreign minor is defined as any person who:

  • is under the age of eighteen;
  • is not accompanied by a person exercising parental authority or guardianship under their national law;
  • is a national of a country that is not a member of the European Economic Area;
  • and is in one of the following two situations:
    • has submitted an application for international protection;
    • does not meet the conditions for access to the territory and residence established by the Law on the access to the territory, residence, settlement and expulsion of foreigners.

The presence of each MENA on Belgian territory must be reported to the Guardianship Service (MENA) - Service public federal Justice ( - (NBMV) - Federale overheidsdienst justitie ( by means of a UAM Identification form.

If the MENA submits an application for international protection, the Immigration Office reports this directly to the Guardianship Service. They may also spontaneously attend the Guardianship Service to report their presence on Belgian territory. The Guardianship Service identifies the MENA and appoints a guardian if the conditions are met.

The Immigration Office may have doubts about the declared minority and will inform the young person of this. The Guardianship Department will then arrange for a medical test, which will consist of an X-ray examination of the wrist, teeth, and collarbone, and, after receiving the test results, will decide whether the young person can still be considered a MENA. The Guardianship Service will inform the Immigration Office of this decision.