216 individuals were granted asylum by the Directorate of Immigration during the first nine months of 2019, RÚV reports. Venezuelans accounted for the most numerous applicants, or 84. Compared to last year, far fewer Albanians have applied for asylum this year.
The past three years have seen a steady decrease in asylum applications: 1,133 in 2016, 1,096 in 2017, and 800 in 2018. Compared to last year, however, the first nine months of this year saw a slight increase (621 applications). A total of 216 applications have been approved (some of which may have been submitted in 2018).
Like last year, Iraqi nationals were the most numerous applicants. Of the 110 Iraqis that applied, 28 were granted asylum. 42 Afghans have applied – approximately as many as last year – and 20 have been granted asylum. 38 Nigerians have applied – again, approximately as many as last year – but only two have been granted asylum. Albanians were the fifth most numerous applicants during the first nine months of 2019; three times as many Albanians had applied for asylum during the first nine months of 2018 (34 have applied this year).
The biggest change from last year, however, is the number of Venezuelans who have applied for asylum. Last year, 14 applied and 7 were granted asylum. This year, 84 Venezuelans have applied for asylum, every one of which has been granted.