More People Are Seeking International Protection in Belgium as Rates Increased by 42% in March Alone, Data Show

3,247 people have sought protection in Belgium during March, with eight of them also applying for resettlement and 317 filing subsequent applications.

According to the Office of the Commissioner-General for Refugees and Stateless, figures for March make up 40 per cent of the total number of applications filed in 2022, which is 8,217. Out of the total, 7,015 applications were first requests, 23 included resettlement and 1,179 were repeated applications, reports.

Compared with the previous month, applications for international protection have increased by nearly 42 per cent, from 2,290 to 3,247. In addition, requests for resettlement have explicitly increased during March, as in February, none were filed. In contrast, subsequent applications dropped in March to 317, from 405 recorded in February.

Furthermore, the number of decisions issued in the last month accounts for over 43 per cent of all applications filed so far this year, 2,240 of those out of 5,189 issued.

58 people received a further assessment decision and had their subsequent application declared admissible, accounting for three per cent of all decisions on such matters for 2022.

In addition, 2,163 people received a final decision for their applications, with 632 being granted refugee status (34 per cent of the total for this year), 36 received subsidiary protection status, and 562 decisions declared applications as inadmissible, while 61 decisions were announced as manifestly unfounded.

Moreover, 872 people were denied refugee status and subsidiary protection status, while 19 people had their status ended or revoked. In general, the caseload for the year has reached 16,412 cases by the end of March.

Furthermore, data by the authority shows concerning rates of migration for the rest of the year, considering that by March, the number of people seeking international protection in Belgium had reached September 2021 levels – the month with the highest application rates for the last three years. During the first quarter of the year alone, the number of people seeking refugee status in Belgium has reached 36 per cent of all applications filed all throughout 2021.

Considering the war in Ukraine, Ukrainian nationals have become the largest nationality to seek protection in Belgium during March, followed by Afghanistan and Palestine nationals. 426 applications were filed by Ukrainians– 399 of those applying for the first time and 27 who filed subsequent applications.

Citizens of Afghanistan filed 416 applications, 310 of those being first applications and 21 subsequent. The remaining nationalities were Palestinians (332), Syrians (210), Congo (140), Eritrea (124), Moldavia (101), Turkey (92), Cameroon (90), and Russia (86). 1,230 applications were from other countries.

However, Afghani remain the nationality with most applications filed for international protection for 2022, with 1,394 requests, followed by Palestinians (698) and Ukrainians (582).

>> Belgium Received Nearly 26,000 Asylum Applications in 2021

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