Ireland records 67% decrease in first-time asylum applications in 2020

26 Mar 2021

Latest Eurostat figures show that Ireland received a total of 1,535 first-time asylum applications in 2020, a decrease of 67% when compared to 4,740 applications made in 2019.

Ireland made a total of 1,275 first-time decisions in 2020. Of these decisions, there were 620 grants of refugee status, 120 grants of subsidiary protection and 200 grants of humanitarian status. Approximately a quarter of decisions made were negative.

In total, EU Member States received 416,630 first-time asylum applications in 2020, marking a decline of 34% on 2019 figures.

Syrians were the largest category of first-time asylum applicants, accounting for 15% of the EU total. Afghans were the next largest group, accounting for 11%, followed by Venezuelans, accounting for 7%. Overall, first-time asylum applications to Ireland accounted for less than 1% of the EU total of same in 2020. The main countries of citizenship of first-time applications to Ireland were Nigeria (14%), Somalia (10%), Pakistan (5.5%), South Africa (5%) and Zimbabwe (5%).

Germany received the highest number of first-time asylum applicants in 2020, accounting for 25% of all first-time asylum applicants to the EU that year. Germany was closely followed by Spain (21%) and France (20%), ahead of Greece (9%) and Italy (5%). Together, these five Member States accounted for 80% of all first-time applicants in the EU.

For more information on Eurostat’s most recent figures, click here.