A total of 25,971 people applied for international protection in Belgium throughout 2021, with 75 per cent of them (19,590) being first-time applicants, and 949 applications, including resettlement, were submitted throughout the year. In addition, the number of persons who filed a subsequent application reached 5,432, the official data shows.
Data from the Office of the Commissioner for Refugees and stateless in Belgium shows that the number of people applying for international protection in 2022 is on the rise as it has reached almost 20 per cent (4.970) of the previous year’s figures in just the first two months of the year, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
More specifically, the number of applications for international protection filed in January and February of 2022 stands at 4,970, about 56.3 per cent higher than in the first two months of 2021, when 2,799 applications were filed.
Furthermore, the data shows that September saw the highest surges in applications – 3,326 in total, which is over 1,000 more than the average of applications lodged for 2021. During the same month, the number of first-time applications rose, peaking at 2,619 – the highest rates for the year.
On the other hand, the month with the least applications recorded was January, with 1,377, while in July, the highest number of first-time applications, including resettlement, was recorded (274). In June, the authorities received the most subsequent applications (474).
As per the case load, the Commissioner-General reveals that it has peaked in February, reaching May 2021 levels.
“At the end of February 2022, the total workload amounted to 16,356 cases (19.426 persons). In view of the current inflow, a volume of 4,200 dossiers can be considered as a normal caseload. The actual backlog amounts to 12,156 cases,” the authority explains in the report.
Intermediary decisions, including decisions with further assessment (border) and subsequent application, declared admissible, have surpassed pre-pandemic levels by two per cent as 1,123 of those were lodged last year.
In addition, the number of refusals has also increased as 11,817 were registered in 2021 – 11.5 per cent more than in 2019. This discrepancy is even lower (12.8 per cent) compared to 2020 when 10,592 refusals were issued.
In addition, 9,222 refugee status were granted in 2021, 88.6 per cent more than in 2020 and 60 per cent more than in 2019. Decisions on subsidiary protections marked a drop, falling from 943 (in 2019) to 948 and 871.
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