Latest Asylum Trends

Latest asylum trends – April 2018


Reference month:   Citizenship:   

 
 
 
 
 

Source: EASO EPS, April 2016 – April 2018: The visualisation above provides an overview of the key indicators regarding the situation of international protection in the EU+ in the past 25 months. The size of the different circles in the countries of origin is proportional to the volume of applications lodged in EU+ countries, the colour of the circle reflects the recognition rate at first-instance (blue - high, red - low). The shade of the country reflects the stock of pending cases at the end of the selected month. By clicking on a circle, the evolution of these key indicators for the citizenship selected is displayed in the lower panel.
 

Asylum applications in the EU+ in April 2018

In April, some 49 716 applications for international protection were lodged in EU+ countries, about 1 400 (+ 3 %) more than in March.  The level of asylum applications is comparable to that registered a year ago in April 2017.  

There were 5 240 repeated applicants; such that 11 % of applicants had previously lodged an asylum application in the same reporting country, stable with the previous two months. Consistent with previous reporting periods, the highest shares of repeated applicants were observed among Serbian (in April 30 % of all Serbian applicants were repeats) and Russian (28 %) nationals. Nevertheless, Afghan (494) and Iraqi (422) nationals lodged the most repeated applications in absolute terms. Some 1 447 applicants were self-claimed unaccompanied minors (UAMs), hence 3 % of all applicants claimed to be unaccompanied minors. A third of all UAM applicants were from Afghanistan (250), Eritrea (172) and Syria (88), but the highest concentration of UAMs was observed among applicants from Gambia: 87 of 418, or 1 in 5. 

The top five countries of origin of applicants in April were Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Nigeria, with the majority lodging more applications than in March. For the first time since the beginning of the EPS data exchange, Venezuela featured in the list of the top five countries of origin (see box below). Overall, these citizenships jointly accounted for a third of all applications for international protection lodged in the EU+ in April. Pakistan, Iran, Eritrea, Albania and Georgia completed the list of the 10 most common citizenships of origin. Nationals of these countries lodged fewer applications than in March, with the notable exception of Iran (+ 295 or + 20 %). The declines were most notable for Georgia (- 226 or – 13 %) and Pakistan (- 200 or – 9 %). At lower levels of asylum flows, it is worth mentioning that, in April, Colombian nationals lodged almost twice as many applications (865, + 393) as in March.  
 

Focus on the most relevant countries of origin of applicants


Syria –  In April 2018, Syrians continued to lodge the most applications for international protection in the EU+, with a total of 6 421 applications, some 1 163 more than in the previous month. This was the largest absolute increase among all citizenships of origin of applicants in April. Furthermore, it was the first month-on-month increase in the number of Syrians seeking international protection since August 2017, when they began lodging fewer applications each month. Syrians also continued lodge applications across the whole EU+, with 15 out of 26 reporting countries counting Syrian nationals among their top-three citizenships of origin. Nevertheless, more than two thirds of Syrian applicants were registered in just two EU+ countries. The recognition rate for decisions over the past six months (November 2017-April 2018) was 87 %.  

Iraq –  There were 3 267 applications lodged by Iranians in the EU+, broadly comparable with each of the previous two months. Some 422 Iraqis had already lodged an application in the same EU+ country: such that the share of repeated applicants for this nationality was 13 % in April. About two-thirds of Iraqi nationals lodged an application for international protection in just three EU+ countries. The recognition rate for decisions taken in the period November 2017 – April 2018 was 41 % at the EU+ level. The majority (61 %) of positive decisions granted refugee status.   

Afghanistan – There were 3 117 applications lodged by Afghans in April, slightly increasing (by some 130 applicants) for the second consecutive month. Importantly, Afghan applicants accounted for the most repeated applications (494) lodged in the EU+, and the highest number of claimed unaccompanied minors (250) accounting for 1 in 10 of all Afghan applicants. The recognition rate for decisions taken in the period November 2017 – April 2018 was 36 % at the EU+ level. Just over half of all positive decisions granted subsidiary protection.
    
Venezuela– In April, Venezuelan applicants lodged 2 349 applications for international protection in the EU+, a significant 62 % increase compared to March. For the first time since 2014, Venezuela appeared among the five most common countries of origin. In fact, the volume of Venezuelan applications in April was the highest-ever observed across the EU+ since the EPS data exchange was established, reinforcing an overall upward trend observed throughout 2017, especially during the last few months of the year. Among the most common citizenships of origin, Venezuelans had the smallest share of repeated (1 %) applicants, suggesting that they tended to be newly arrived to the EU. The share of UAM applicants was, likewise, very limited and stood at 1 %. The recognition rate for decisions issued in the period November 2017 – April 2018 was 10 %2

Nigeria – Nigerian nationals lodged 2 179 applications for international protection in April, and the only citizenship of origin in the top five with fewer applicants (- 9 %) than in March. The overall decrease in the number of applications was due to fewer first-time applicants, whereas the number of repeated applicants remained roughly stable (264 or 12 %). In contrast, the share of UAM applicants decreased to some 3 %, one of the lowest among the countries of origin located in Western Africa. The recognition rate for decisions issued in the period November 2017 – April 2018 was 10 % at the EU+ level. The overwhelming majority of positive decisions (79 %) granted refugee status.


Number and type of decisions issued in first instance in EU+ countries in April 2018

EU+ countries issued 50 872 decisions at first instance in April, decreasing by 13 % compared to March3.  Most decisions were issued to applicants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria and Pakistan, jointly accounting for 40 % of all decisions issued. All these five citizenships of origin received fewer decisions than in March; in particular, noticeable decreases concerned Afghan (5 418, - 1 524), Iraqi (3 451, - 717) and Nigerian (2 828, - 406) applicants. 

The overall EU+ recognition rate increased by three percentage points to 33 %. Positive decisions more often granted refugee status (62 %) than subsidiary protection (38 %). Of notable interest, the recognition rate to Syrians increased by 8 percentage points to 85 % (the highest among all countries of origin) after a higher-than-usual number of negative decisions issued to Syrian applicants in March. Eritrean applicants followed with a recognition rate of 84 %, also higher (by 4 percentage points) than in March. Among the citizenships with at least 500 decisions issued4,  the lowest recognition rates were for nationals of Georgia (1 %), Bangladesh and Algeria (3 % each).

 

Stock of pending cases at the end of April 2018

At the end of April, there were 423 880 applications awaiting a decision in first instance, decreasing slightly (by some 5 100) compared to a month earlier5.  At the end of December 2017, nevertheless, there were some 954 100 applications awaiting a final decision (in appeal or review) in the EU+6

Syria (41 784, + 2 341) remained the country of origin with most applications pending at first instance, also with the largest increase in the stock, compared to March. Nigeria (35 057, - 1 650) and Afghanistan (32 702, - 2 225), in contrast, continued to experience a decrease in the number of applicants awaiting a decision at first-instance. A downturn was observed, in fact, for all the citizenships among the 10 with most decisions pending, with the exception of Syrians, Venezuelans (17 728, + 1 326) and, to a lesser extent, Iranians (11 574, + 180).

At the end of April 2018, more than half of all cases awaiting a decision in the first instance had been pending for longer than six months

 

This page is produced by EASO’s Information and Analysis Unit (IAU) on the basis of monthly data exchanged under the Early Warning and Preparedness System (EPS). The data shared with EASO by the EU+ countries are provisional and unvalidated, and therefore may differ from validated data submitted to Eurostat (according to Regulation (EC) No 862/2007).

Date of release: 1 June 2018


Asylum applications include all persons who have lodged or have been included in an application for international protection as a family member in the reporting country during the reporting month.  

First-instance decisions include all persons covered by decisions issued on granting EU-regulated international protection status (refugee or subsidiary protection) following a first time or repeated application for international protection in the first instance determination process.

Stock of pending cases includes all cases for which an asylum application has been lodged and are under consideration by the national authority responsible for the first instance determination of the application for international protection (until the first instance decision has been issued) at the end of the reference period (i.e. last day of the reference month).  It refers to the “stock” of applications for which decisions in first instance are still pending.

The EU+ recognition rate includes EU-regulated forms of protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and excludes national protection forms (humanitarian reasons). It is calculated by dividing the number of positive first-instance decisions (granting refugee status or subsidiary protection) by the total number of decisions issued.




Notes
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[1]  The EU+ is composed of 28 EU Member States plus Norway and Switzerland.  Data on applications for international protection were available for 28 EU+ countries.  Monthly data from two EU+ countries were missing in both March and April.   
[2]   The recognition rate for decisions issued for applicants from Venezuela should be interpreted with care, as reporting countries were not able to report the outcome in three-fourths of the cases.   
[3] First-instance decisions include all persons covered by decisions issued on granting EU-regulated international protection status (refugee or subsidiary protection) following a first time or repeated application for international protection in the first instance determination process. Data on first-instance decisions were available for 28 EU+ countries.  
[4] To avoid sensitivity to low numbers.
[5] Data on pending cases were available for 26 EU+ countries.
[6] Source: Eurostat.