Increase in first-time EU asylum applicants



In March 2022, 73 850 first-time asylum applicants (non-EU citizens) applied for international protection in the EU Member States, up 115 % compared with March 2021 (34 310) and up 35 % compared with February 2022 (54 565).

The increase from February to March 2022 can be largely attributed to the increase in Ukrainian first-time applicants (from 2370 in February to 12875 in March; +443 %) due to the military aggression of Russia on Ukraine.

In March 2022, there were also 6510 subsequent applicants (people who reapplied for asylum after a decision had been taken on a previous application). This was up 4 % when compared with March 2021, and up 6 % compared with February 2022.

This information comes from monthly asylum data published by Eurostat June 20,2022. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article on monthly asylum statistics.

Furthermore, based on the available data, the largest number of Ukrainians benefitting from temporary protection in the EU was recorded in Poland (1142375 Ukrainians with temporary protection at the end of May 2022).

This news article marks World Refugee Day, organised yearly by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). It is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees worldwide.

Most first-time asylum applicants were Ukrainians
In March 2022, Ukrainians were the largest group of persons seeking asylum (12 875 first-time applicants). They were followed by Afghans (7 770), ahead of Syrians (7 320), Venezuelans (4 705) and Colombians (3 565).

Germany reports the most first-time asylum applicants
With 14 135 first-time applicants registered in March 2022, Germany accounted for 19% of all first-time applicants in the EU. Germany was followed by Spain (11 130, 15%), ahead of France (10 240, 14%), Italy (6 035, 8%), Austria (4 295, 6%) and Romania (4 270, 6%). These six Member States together accounted for over two-thirds (68%) of all first-time applicants in the EU.

2 570 unaccompanied minors applying for asylum in the EU, of which almost half were Afghans
In March 2022, 2 570 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum for the first time, up by 98% compared with March 2021 (1 300) and up 16% compared with February 2022 (2 215).

Most unaccompanied minors who lodged asylum applications in March 2022 came from Afghanistan (1 230), Syria (325) and Somalia (115).

Austria (590), Germany (435) and Bulgaria (275) were the three Member States that received the highest numbers of asylum applications from unaccompanied minors in March 2022.

For more information:

Methodological information:

  • Due to temporary derogations, data on unaccompanied minor asylum applicants are not available 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.
  • 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).
  • The monthly statistics on temporary protection are available in the Eurostat database for the months of March, April and May 2022. However, data have limited completeness due to the voluntary status of monthly transmissions. Eurostat collects and publishes the following monthly data: