Asylum claims increased by 40% in 2022, Syrians biggest group


More than 35,000 people claimed asylum in the Netherlands in 2022, the biggest number in seven years, according to the statistics agency CBS.

The figure is 44% higher than in 2021, partly reflecting the easing of coronavirus restrictions at the end of March, though the ban on unvaccinated travellers from outside the EU remained in force until September.

Syrians were the biggest group of asylum seekers, accounting for 36% of the total, a 50% increase on the number who arrived in 2021. Afghanistan, Turkey and Yemen were the next most common source countries.

The numbers do not include the 87,000 Ukrainians who have fled their country since the Russian invasion at the end of February, who have the right to live and work in the Netherlands and have separate accommodation arrangements.

Source: CBS

More than 1,000 Ukrainians still claimed asylum, up from 70 in 2021, because they were not covered by the regulations. They included people who left the country before the war broke out.

The CBS also said 10,925 people travelled to the Netherlands to join family members who had been granted asylum, an increase of 800 since 2021.

The government tried to place restrictions on family reunions in the autumn to ease the strain on the asylum accommodation system, but a series of defeats in court forced it to put the plans on hold.

The figures also show 590 people from Russia claimed asylum in the Netherlands last year, three times the number in 2021.

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