Syrians largest asylum seeking nationality in Malta in 2018

Asylum Seekers waiting
REUTERS/Loren Elliott

The majority of asylum seekers granted protection in Malta during 2018 were from Syria, new figures show.

According to new figures compiled and published by the European data service Eurostat, 230 Syrians were granted asylum in Malta (35%). This was closely followed by 225 Libyan asylum seekers (34%) and 80 Eritrean nationals (12%). This is commensurate with Malta’s size.

The largest intake of Syrian asylum seekers is recorded in Germany, with 66,990, 48% of the asylum seeker population in 2018.  This makes the central European state the largest intake across the 28 member states and the majority of the 96,125 Syrian asylum seekers granted protection, recorded in the European Union, (29%).

The second biggest group were from Afghanistan with 53,465 (16%) and third from Iraq with 24,605 (7%).

Syrians also represented the majority of recognition rates of the top 20 nationalities applying for asylum in the European Union, 88%.

Subsidiary protection

The majority of positive decisions given to asylum seekers ensured they were given Subsidiary protection in 2018.

Out of 660 positive decisions granted to asylum seekers, 480 people were granted this status while 160 were instead given Refugee Status.

On the European level, over 330,000 people (333,355) were granted a positive decision while almost a third of those 100,305 granted subsidiary protection and a further 167,790 granted Refugee Status.

Final appeals

Interestingly, Eurostat records that people receiving a final decision is considerably lower than those receiving a positive outcome in their first decision.

While 1,500 people applied for asylum in Malta in 2018,  under half (645) were given a positive outcome in the first decision, 42% receiving subsidiary protection.

As for final decisions on appeal, the numbers are considerably lower.  While 685 people went through the appeals process a fraction of only 15 were accepted on the final go. Only 2% were given subsidiary protection.