6,485 first-time asylum applications were filed in the Netherlands during the first three months of 2022 – 35 per cent fewer than in the last quarter of 2021, the Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has revealed.
According to CBS data, the most noticeable decreases are recorded among Syrian nationals, dropping by 58 per cent – from 3,920 to 1,640 first-time asylum applications, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Other nationality groups to lead the list of first-time asylum applicants include Afghans and Yemenis, which filed 720 and 525 applications, down by 375 and 165, respectively.
However, the number of Syrian applicants peaked in the last quarter of 2021, as it reached 3,920 applications – representing 61 per cent of all first-time applications filed by this nationality throughout 2021.
“Compared to the end of 2021, the number of asylum applications was down in January and February 2022. It went up again in March. That month saw almost as many first-time applications (2,920) as January and February combined (1,960 and 1,600 requests respectively),” the report explains.
Furthermore, the number of first-time applications fell in general, with the number of following family members dipping to slightly over 2,500. In addition, the number of Ukrainian and Russian asylum-seekers in the first quarter of the year was 75 and 120, respectively.
During the last three years, an average of 20 persons from Ukraine submitted a first-time application, while this number rose to 75 persons in the first quarter of 2022, with 50 those being recorded in March alone.
Nonetheless, the number of following family members was down by 675 applications from the previous quarter, reaching a total of 2,555. This practice was popular, especially among Syrian nationals, who accounted for almost 80 per cent of all applications (1,745) filed in the first quarter of 2022.
The numbers of Turkish and stateless dependents remained similar compared to the previous quarter at 140 and 135, respectively.
Moreover, the family reunification from Eritrea and Yemen declined to 95 and 90, respectively. The number of dependents from Afghanistan remains low for the time being, at nearly 20 per month.
The number of first-time asylum applications fluctuated due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2020-2021 period, and that is also reflected in data for the first quarter of 2022.
According to an article published last month from SchengenVisaInfo.com, the number of people seeking international protection in the Netherlands for March reached 4,202, showing an influx of immigrants compared to the other months. More specifically, out of 4,202 requests, the majority are filed from Syrians (1,410), Afghanis (538), and Yemenis (353).
In addition, the number of first-time asylum applications rose during this quarter, with the main reason being the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian nationals are not obliged to apply for asylum in order to stay, although some of them do.