In May 2022, first-time asylum applicants in the European Union increased by 17% compared to April 2022, and by 89% compared to May 2021, according to monthly asylum data published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU.
In absolute numbers, in May there were 63,105 first-time asylum applicants for international protection in the EU Member States, compared with 54,145 in April 2022 and 33,385 in May 2021.
The largest number of applicants for Cyprus in May were citizens of Nigeria (460), Syria (420), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (390), Pakistan (265) and Afghanistan (240).
In Cyprus, a total of 2,560 new asylum applications were recorded in May 2022, an increase compared with April 2022 when there were 2,030 new applications, and May 2021 when there were 1,175 new applications.
The largest number of applicants for Cyprus in May were citizens of Nigeria (460 people), Syria (420 people), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (390 people), Pakistan (265 people) and Afghanistan (240 people).
The five countries with the largest numbers of new applicants in Cyprus in April were Nigeria, DR Congo, Syria, Pakistan and Cameroon. In May 2021 they were Syria, Somalia, DR Congo, Pakistan and India.
According to Eurostat, the increase on an EU level from April to May 2022 can be attributed in part to increases in Venezuelan (from 3,655 in April to 4,820 in May; +32%) and Syrian first-time applicants (from 6,485 to 8,025; +24%).
In May 2022, Syrians were the largest group of persons seeking asylum (8,025 first-time applicants). They were followed by Afghans (7,695), ahead of Venezuelans (4,820), Colombians (3,535) and Pakistanis (2,890).
In March 2022, there was a large increase in Ukrainian first-time asylum applicants (from 2,370 in February to 12,885 in March) due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, the numbers decreased to 1,510 and 1,295 respectively in April and May 2022.
With 13,855 first-time applicants registered in May 2022, Germany accounted for 22% of all first-time applicants in the EU. Germany was followed by Spain (10,200, 16%), ahead of France (9,800, 16%), Italy (6,450, 10%) and Austria (5,645, 9%).
These five Member States together accounted for nearly three-quarters (73%) of all first-time applicants in the EU.
In May 2022, 2,635 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum for the first time in the EU Member States, up by 97% compared with May 2021 (1,335) and up 17% compared with April 2022 (2,260).
This is among the EU Member States for which data are available. Due to temporary derogations, data on unaccompanied minor asylum applicants are not available for France, Cyprus and Poland.
Most unaccompanied minors who lodged asylum applications in May 2022 came from Afghanistan (1,215), Syria (460) and Somalia (165).
Austria (770), Germany (435) and Bulgaria (320) were the three Member States that received the highest numbers of asylum applications from unaccompanied minors in May 2022.
In May 2022, there were also 6,280 subsequent applicants (people who reapplied for asylum after a decision had been taken on a previous application). This was up 20% compared with May 2021, and up 13% compared with April 2022.
Due to temporary derogations, data on subsequent applicants are not available for Denmark, Cyprus and Sweden.