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Syrians and Yemenis are most likely to get EU asylum, report reveals

Despite reduced irregular migration, over 714,000 applications were submitted in the EU+ in 2019 [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 February, 2020

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For the first time since 2015, asylum applications increased from the previous year, an EU agency found.

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EU, migration
Syrians and Yemenis seeking asylum in the European Union had the highest number of positive decisions in 2019, an EU agency said on Wednesday, reporting a 13 percent increase in overall asylum applications to the region.

The highest asylum application recognition rates in 2019 were granted to Syrian (85 percent), Yemeni (82 percent) and Eritrean (81 percent) nationals, according to the European Asylum Support Office.

About one in three decisions granted EU-regulated forms of protection, bringing the EU+ recognition rate in 2019 to 33 percent.

Despite reduced irregular migration towards the EU, the EASO found more than 714,000 applications were lodged in the EU+ in 2019, compared to fewer than 635,000 registered in 2018.

The top three countries of origin of applicants were Syria (about 72,000), Afghanistan (60,000) and Venezuela (45,000).

Afghans sought asylum in far larger numbers than a year earlier, as did Venezuelans, who lodged more than twice as many applications (approximately 22,000 applications in 2018).

The EASO found most of the increase due to the large number of applications lodged by those exempt of visa requirements when entering the Schengen Area.

This explains why applications for international protection have increased but detections of illegal entry at the external border have decreased.

Visa-free applicants were mostly from Latin America, including Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador and Honduras.

The number of positive decisions for visa-free nationals was generally extremely low.

Applicants with low recognition rates included citizens of North Macedonia (1 percent), Albania (6 percent), Venezuelans (5 percent) and Colombians (7 percent).

At the end of November 2019, there were more than 900,000 cases pending a final decision in the EU+, the EASO said.


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