Asylum applications rising

The number of people granted asylum only witnessed a modest increase in 2012 despite a massive leap in the number of applications

The number of asylum applicants rose by 61 percent between 2011 and 2012, fuelled mostly by an increase in applicants from Syria and Somalia, according to Statistics Denmark.

Applicants from Somalia rose almost eight-fold to 914 in 2012, while the number of Syrian asylum seekers doubled to 817. In total, the number of asylum applicants rose from 3,806 in 2011 to 6,141 in 2012.

According to Katrine Borg Albertsen, a migration expert who has worked with the Danish Institute of International Studies, there is no clear reason why the number of applicants in Denmark has risen, but the improvement of conditions for asylum applicants under the new government is not likely to be a reason.

“Most applicants know nothing about Denmark when they leave their homeland,” Albertsen told Jyllands-Posten newspaper. “Asylum seekers typically choose countries where they have friends or family.”

Serbian asylum seekers also shot up from 192 in 2011 to 541 in 2012. This increase has been attributed to an influx of ‘fake’ asylum seekers who falsely believe they will be given a cash payment in order to leave the country.

Asylum seekers from Afghanistan, which were the single largest group in 2010 with 1,512 applicants, have decreased significantly to only 576 applications in 2012.

Despite the rising number of applicants, the number of successful applications only increased by 15 percent between 2011 and 2012 to 2,585 people.

The total number of residency permits granted also only marginally increased between 2011 and 2012, rising only six percent to 61,324 permits. Work permits accounted for 36 percent of these with 22,206 work permits being granted in 2012. Poles accounted for 15 percent of the work permits, while 13 percent were Romanians and 12 percent were from India.

Factfile | Key asylum and migration figures for 2012

  • 6,141 people applied for asylum in 2012, and 2,585 were successful (42 percent).
  • 3,806 people applied for asylum in 2011 and 2,249 were successful (59 percent).
  • The two largest groups of asylum seekers in 2012 were Somalis (914 applicants) and Syrians (817 applicants)
  • Asylum seekers from Afghanistan dropped from a peak of 1512 in 2010 to 576 in 2012.
  • 61, 324 residency permits were granted in 2012
  • 57,787 residency permits were granted in 2011

Source: Statistics Denmark