Asylum applications in the EU have reached a new high since the 2015-2016 refugee crisis, according to the EU Asylum Agency (EUAA), with Syrians, Afghanis and Pakistanis among the top numbers for most applications.
EU countries received an unusually high number of asylum applications in recent months, the EUAA said in a statement. Specifically, in August 2022, applications reached around 84,500, the highest level since the 2015-2016 refugee crisis.
Since the beginning of 2022, EU countries have received around 564,000 asylum applications, up 62% compared to the same period in 2021.
At the same time, a large number of people leaving Ukraine continued to request temporary protection status in the EU.
In August, about 255,000 registrations for temporary protection were made, almost exclusively by Ukrainian citizens. By October 23, more than 4.6 million registrations had taken place.
In total, asylum applications and registrations for temporary protection so far in 2022 have exceeded 5 million.
MOST ASYLUM APPLICATIONS IN THE EU ARE FROM AFGHANISTAN AND SYRIAN
Most of the asylum applications submitted in August to the EU came from Afghans (around 12,100) and Syrians (11,900), a number that increased for both nationalities by 30% since July.
In the 12 months since the Taliban took over Afghanistan (August 2021), Afghans have submitted around 127,000 asylum applications to the EU. In the same period, asylum applications from Syria have grown at a faster rate. In August, Syrians submitted the most applications since October 2016, and from June to August, Syrians submitted more applications than Afghans for the first time.
A recent EUAA report found that Afghans mainly used the Western Balkans route to the EU. Based on Frontex data, illegal border crossings by Afghans on this route have increased somewhat in recent months, while for Syrians they have more than doubled since April (close to 10,000 in August).
This could mean that many Syrian applicants were coming from Turkey, where they face increasingly uncertain prospects.
Turks were the third largest group of applicants in August (around 4,600), continuing an upward trend in arrivals recorded since March.
Indian nationals (4,200) continued to file sharply more applications, reaching a new record high in August (+46% from July) and becoming the fourth largest group.
This is followed by Pakistanis (3,800), Venezuelans (3,600), Colombians (3,500) and applications from Bangladesh (3,300).
As a regional group, the North African countries of Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria and Libya together accounted for about 6,400 applications in August, the most recorded.
THE MOST unaccompanied minors since 2015
Applications from unaccompanied minors jumped to nearly 4,700 in August, up 28% from July and reaching a new record high since 2015. The main drivers of this increase were unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan (nearly 2,300 in August, + 40 % from July) and Syria (1 100, +49%).