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15 May 2019

Nationals of Countries With Visa-Free Access Lodge Over a Quarter of Asylum Applications in EU+

The EU+ countries have received the highest recorded number of applications lodged by nationals exempt from the Schengen Visa requirement, last March.

28% of the overall number of applications filed in March 2019, were from nationals of the 62 countries that benefit from the visa-free access to the Schengen Area. Data by the European Commission shows that among the top ten countries of origin of applicants were: Venezuela listed 2nd, Columbia 5th, Albania 9th and Georgia 10th.

Top 10 Nationalities of Asylum Seeks in EU

Venezuelans, who are permitted to enter the Schengen area visa-free, filed 4,304 applications for asylum in March in the EU member countries plus Norway and Switzerland, while Syrians filed 5,336 applications thus placing Syria in the first position for another time in a row.

According to a press release of the European Asylum Support Office, the number of Venezuelan applications in March reached another a record number for the country after the one already set in February, with 3,995 applications filed.

Over the past six months, some 43 % of Venezuelan applicants received international protection in the first-instance, even though for many others the decisions remain pending,” the press release says.

It further reiterates that Columbians, who also can travel visa-free to Europe are listed as the fifth largest national group of applicants for asylum in EU+.

In March, Colombian applications totaled more than 2,551, a 32 % increase compared to February, and the third consecutive month with increasing applications. The recognition rate for Colombian nationals remained much lower compared to Venezuelans, at 11 % over the past six months, even though the number of first-instance decisions issued was very low,” it is noted in the press release.

Previous statistics show that in 2017, Albanians were the second main recipients of citizenship in one of the EU countries, with 58,900 Albanians gaining citizenship, half of them in Greece and Italy.

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