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
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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 To avoid sensitivity to low numbers.
 Data on pending cases were available for 26 EU+ countries.
 Source: Eurostat.