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The number of asylum applications is decreasing – but at a high level

The number of asylum applications is decreasing – but at a high level

Before the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of the Interior left for Morocco, the government published declining asylum figures.

Vienna. 2022 was the migration year of record: with more than 100,000 asylum applications overshadowed even by the figures for the crisis years 2015 and 2016, only Cyprus has higher application numbers compared to the population in Europe. Statistics show that a large percentage of asylum seekers will quickly move to other countries; It is ultimately unclear how many refugees are not seeking basic care and where there is. And: In addition to the large number of asylum seekers, there were tens of thousands of Ukrainians who sought protection in Austria due to the Russian invasion; According to the current situation, more than 50,000 displaced persons from Ukraine are receiving basic state care. Including asylum seekers, as of early February 2023, there were more than 91,000 migrants in primary care. For comparison: at the beginning of 2016 there were less than 80,000.

After months of intense discussions, the government is now announcing its first success stories: On Sunday, the Home Office announced new figures — and they, in fact, show further easing. According to the administration, 4,288 asylum applications were filed in January 2023; Compared to the previous month, in which more than 7,000 applications were submitted, this is a drop of nearly 40 percent. The numbers were already down by the end of 2022.

“The curb on asylum is taking hold”

According to the Ministry of the Interior, the decrease is due to measures taken also with the participation of Austria. For example, the abolition of the Serbian visa-free regime for Indians and Tunisians will reduce the number of applications because they will travel to the West from Serbia with smugglers. Background: Indians were one of the strongest countries in Austrian asylum statistics last year, but they hardly received asylum. According to the Ministry of the Interior, another reason for the easing of the situation is the “intensive controls exercised by the Austrian police”, “also on Hungarian national territory as part of Operation Fox”. The ministry said broadly that “the asylum brake will come into effect”.

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Alone: ​​Asylum numbers are still relatively high. It is true that orders may have decreased in January – compared to January 2022, an increase of about a quarter was recorded. And: In January 2023, nearly three times as many asylum applications were submitted as in January 2021. However, the Home Office explains that the last three weeks of January in particular saw a sharp decline – which is supposed to continue in February: “A further decrease of 40 percent can be expected compared to January 2023.” Most of the applications in January were submitted by asylum seekers from Morocco. However, statistically speaking, their chances of receiving a positive asylum decision are slim.

That’s why Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (both ÖVP) like to talk about one topic in particular during their two-day trip to Morocco this week, the Interior Ministry explained: illegal immigration and “re-admission”. (Cake)