Asylum applications in EU+ 15 % higher than last year, by now

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The number of asylum applications filed at the EU+ countries has increased by 15% so far, compared to the same period last year. Though fewer applications were lodged in April, the numbers are quite higher compared to last year, in particular for Turkish and Venezuelan nationals.

According to the European Support Office one in four applications was lodged by nationals of the three main countries of origin: Syria, Afghanistan and Venezuela.

All these citizenships however lodged fewer applications than in March. Also for the other citizenships in the top 10, applications decreased (for Iraqi, Colombians, Nigerians, Georgians, Iranians and Pakistani). There was one exception: Turkish applicants, the seventh main citizenship of origin in April, increased by 26 %, but remained in line with the first months of the year,” the press release explains.

It further adds that Turkish nationals together with applicants from several Latin-American countries were much more numerous than a year ago.

Notably, applications by both Turks and Venezuelans increased by more than 50 %, whereas applicants from Colombian almost tripled compared to April 2018,” it notes.

According to statistics, citizens of Syria, Afghanistan and Venezuela are top nationals groups with most applications for international protection in the EU+. At the same time, citizens of Iraq, Colombia, Nigeria, Turkey, Georgia, Iran and Pakistan also filed considerable numbers of applications.

Self-claimed unaccompanied minors, most of them from Sudan and Vietnam, lodged some 3% of all applications.

On the other hand, one in 10 applicants were repeated applicants, who previously lodged an application in the same EU+ country. Top nationalities with highest number of repeated applicants are Serbia (34 %), North Macedonia (31 %) and Kosovo (28 %).

The recognition rate at first instance was 34%, with Syrians and Eritreans having the highest recognition rate, with 88% and 79% respectively. Whereas, recognition rate was marked by Georgia with 3% and Albania with 5%.

A previous report of the same office showed that the EU+ countries received the highest recorded number of applications lodged by nationals exempt from the Schengen Visa requirement, last March.

28% of the overall number of applications filed in March 2019, were from nationals of the 62 countries that benefit from the visa-free access to the Schengen Area. Data by the European Commission shows that among the top ten countries of origin of applicants were: Venezuela listed 2nd, Columbia 5th, Albania 9th and Georgia 10th.

Another similar report had previously warned that the number of asylum seekers using the right of visa-free entry to the block is on the rise.