The number of people making their first application for asylum in the Netherlands fell by more than a third in the first quarter of 2023, when compared with end of 2022, national statistics agency CBS said on Tuesday.
In total, almost 6,900 people put in a claim for refugee status between January and March, a drop of 36% on October to December 2022, but up 7% on the same period last year, when coronavirus restrictions on travel were largely lifted.
Almost 1,900 family members applied to join their relatives in first quarter of this year, a rise of 23% when compared with the previous quarter. The figures come from the immigration service IND.
Most of the new applicants come from Syria, followed by Yemen and Somalia. However, although Syrians are the largest group, their number fell 63% quarter on quarter. The number of applications from Turkish nationals also fell 32%.
Public broadcaster NOS said earlier this month the total number of refugees coming to the Netherlands could top 76,000 this year. NOS based its claim on government sources and it has not been confirmed.
The official government prognosis for 2023 suggests 51,000 refugees will come to the Netherlands this year, including Ukrainian nationals, who do not fall under asylum regulations.
The Netherlands has been struggling to provide accommodation for its asylum seekers when they arrive and when they have been given official refugee status.
The refugee settlement agency COA expects a shortage of 75,000 beds by the end of the year.
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