Repeat Applications account for a quarter of EU+ Asylum Applications
Latest figures from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) on asylum trends for January 2021, show that of the 40,000 applications lodged for international protection with the EU+, encompassing the 27 member states, Norway and Switzerland, 10,000 were repeat applications. This represents the highest number of repeat applications since at least 2014. The overall number of applications remains roughly stable compared to December 2020.
The share of repeated applications reached 24% in January and reflects a shift experienced over the course of 2020 when first-time applications declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related travel restrictions.
The high share of repeats is primarily due to applications from Syrian nationals, who lodged close to 4,900 repeated applications in January 2021, but also reflected shifts towards repeated applications by other nationalities over the course of 2020. A repeated application is lodged in the same country after a previous application was closed with a final decision.
Syrians, Afghans and Pakistanis lodged the most applications for international protection overall. Syrians alone accounted for a quarter of all asylum applications in the EU+. Iraq and Nigeria replaced Venezuela and Colombia among the top five origin countries of applicants.
Among other nationalities with more than 200 applications in January, some Sub-Saharan Africans lodged significantly more applications than in December. These included Guineans (+ 15 %), Malians (+ 17 %) and Senegalese (+ 41 %). Significantly fewer applications than in December were lodged by Bangladeshis (- 19 %), Eritreans (- 18 %), Russians (- 17 %), Moldovans (- 31 %), Tunisians (- 23 %) and Haitians (- 28 %).
Fewer applications were lodged by self-claimed unaccompanied minors. In January, they accounted for approximately 3% of all applications in the EU, down from 5% in December 2020. This notably reflected decreasing applications by unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan, Syria and Bangladesh.
Decisions issued at first instance, which are decisions issued on granting EU-regulated international protection status, either refugee or subsidiary protection, in the first instance determination process, decreased to 38,700 in January (- 9 %) and fell below the level of applications lodged. Some 409,700 cases were pending at first instance in January, roughly as many as in December. Close to two thirds had been pending for more than six months, compared to 54% in January 2020.
Close to two thirds of the positive decisions granted refugee status, while the remainder granted subsidiary protection.