In February 2022, first time asylum applications by persons who applied for international protection in EU member states increased by 85% compared to February 2021 and by 3% compared to last January, according to the latest monthly asylum data published by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service.
This February, EU member states recorded 54,565 first-time asylum applications, compared with 29,470 in February 2021 and compared with 52,810 last January.
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%).
In Cyprus, 1805 new asylum applications were registered in February 2022, compared to 245 new applications in February 2021 and 1385 new applications last January.
Also in February 2022 in the EU, there were 6,150 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.
Due to temporary derogations in effect until 2023, there is no available data on Cyprus regarding subsequent applicants (also for Denmark and Sweden) or regarding unaccompanied minor asylum applicants (also for France and Poland).
In February 2022, Afghans were the largest group of persons seeking asylum (7075 first-time applicants) in the EU. They were followed by Syrians (6775), ahead of Venezuelans (4205), Colombians (3110) and Ukrainians (2370).
The first largest nationalities of new asylum seekers in Cyprus were from the Democratic Republic of Congo/ Congo-Kinshasa (405 persons), Nigeria (295), Pakistan (210), Syria (175) and Bangladesh (155).
Germany accounted for 27% of all first-time applicants in the EU in February 2022 (14,930 persons), followed by Spain (9295, 17%), France (9085, 17%), Italy (5160, 9%) and Austria (3105, 6%).
These five Member States together accounted for 76% of all first-time applicants in the EU in that month.
Almost half of unaccompanied migrants from Afghanistan
In February 2022, 2,215 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.