Increase in Ukrainian first-time asylum seekers



In February 2022, 54 565 first-time asylum applicants (non-EU citizens) applied for international protection in the EU Member States, up 85 % compared with February 2021 (29470) and up 3 % compared with January 2022 (52810). The increase from January to February 2022 can be largely attributed to the increase in Ukrainian first-time applicants (from 355 in January to 2370 in February; +568%).

Furthermore, in February 2022, there were also 6150 subsequent applicants (people who reapplied for asylum after a decision had been taken on a previous application). This was down 46 % when compared with February 2021, and down 1 % compared with January 2022.

This information comes from monthly asylum data published by Eurostat on  May 24, 2022. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article on monthly asylum statistics.

Most first-time asylum applicants were Afghans and Syrians

In February 2022, Afghans were the largest group of persons seeking asylum (7 075 first-time applicants). They were followed by Syrians (6 775), ahead of Venezuelans (4 205), Colombians (3 110) and Ukrainians (2 370).

Over a quarter of first-time applicants requested asylum in Germany

With 14 930 first-time applicants registered in February 2022, Germany accounted for 27% of all first-time applicants in the EU. Germany was followed by Spain (9295, 17 %), ahead of France (9085, 17 %), Italy (5160, 9 %) and Austria (3105, 6 %). These five Member States together accounted for over three-quarters (76 %) of all first-time applicants in the EU.

2 215 unaccompanied minors applying for asylum in the EU, of which almost half were Afghans

In February 2022, 2215 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum for the first time, up by 74 % compared with February 2021 (1275) and up 1 % compared with January 2022 (2180).

Most unaccompanied minors who lodged asylum applications in February 2022 came from Afghanistan (1015), Syria (335) and Somalia (125).

Germany (480), Austria (455) and Belgium (235) were the three Member States that received the highest numbers of asylum applications from unaccompanied minors in February 2022.

For more information:

Methodological information:

  • Due to temporary derogations, data on subsequent applicants are not available for Denmark, Cyprus and Sweden, and on unaccompanied minor asylum applicants for France, Cyprus and Poland. As a result, these Member States were not included in the calculation of the respective EU totals. A complete list of such derogations is provided in the Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2021/431.
  • Subsequent asylum applicants: a new data collection from reference year 2021. Subsequent applicant is one of the category of repeated applicant.
  • Statistics on asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors presented in the article refers to the age accepted by the national authorities, however before the age assessment procedure was carried out/completed (i.e. it refers to the age as claimed by the applicant).