Asylum: over 12,000 applications to Immigration Office between January and July
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    Asylum: over 12,000 applications to Immigration Office between January and July

    Between January and July 2015 the Foreign Office received just over 12,000 asylum applications (this figure includes both first-time and repeat applications). There was a significant increase in applications in May, June and July. For July alone, 2,630 applications were made to the Foreign Office, said spokesman Dominique Ernould on Thursday.

    Between January and July 31st, 2015, 12,033 people, including 684 unaccompanied under-18s, applied for asylum to the Immigration Service (Office des Etrangers), of which 8,768 were men and 3,365 women.

    These figures speak volumes, according to the Immigration Service; indeed, for the entire year 2014, it recorded 17,213 asylum seekers (11,744 men and 5,469 women), including 486 unaccompanied under-18s. During the first six months of 2015, the five most represented nationalities among the applications were Iraqi, Syrian, Afghan, Somalian and Guinean, the first time that Somalia has appeared in the “top 5”.

    “Similar figures can be found across Europe. Earlier this year, asylum-seeking arrivals in Belgium were well below those experienced by Austria and Germany, not to mention Italy and Greece, bearing the brunt of arrivals. The increase in applications started in April and May. In June and July, they increased further and are currently at their highest level so far,” said Dominique Ernould.

    Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)