First time asylum applications increased by 10% in the EU last October, compared to the month before, according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU.

Cyprus meanwhile, saw the second largest rate of new applications compared to its population, according to the same data.

In October 2022, 99,175 first-time asylum applicants (non-EU citizens) applied for international protection in the EU Member States, 8,630 more people than in the previous month, an increase of 10%. Compared with October 2021 (59,870), there was a 66% increase in the total number of requests.

When it comes to the number of subsequent applicants (people who reapplied for asylum after a decision had been taken on a previous application), the opposite happened, with total numbers decreasing. In October 2022, there were 6,380 subsequent applicants, indicating a 3% decrease (-185 subsequent applicants) compared with September 2022. Compared with October 2021, there was a 5% drop.

Like in the previous two months, in October 2022, Syrians were the largest group of persons seeking asylum (18,420 first-time applicants). They were followed by Afghans (13,695) and Turks (6 770).

Following Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, there was a large increase in Ukrainian first-time asylum applicants (from 2,370 in February to 12,890 in March 2022), but the numbers then decreased month by month, from 1,510 in April to 950 in October 2022. This is also because people fleeing Ukraine benefit from temporary protection.

In October 2022, the number of first-time asylum applicants with Russian citizenship ranked 13th among all citizenships, with 1,960 applications, 650 more than in September 2022.

Germany reports highest number of first-time applicants


Since the beginning of 2022, Germany has been the Member State reporting the highest number of first-time asylum applicants in the EU.

In October 2022, Germany received 24 910 first-time applicants, accounting for 25% of the total. Germany was followed by Austria (17 745, 18%), France (13 680, 14%), Spain (10 905, 11%), and Italy (8 385, 8%).

These five countries together accounted for three-quarters (76%) of all first-time asylum applicants in the EU.

Cyprus in second place in applicants per million population


In total, in the EU as a whole, there were 222 first-time asylum applicants per million population in October 2022.

Compared with the population of each EU country (on 1st January 2022), the highest rate of registered first-time applicants in October 2022 was recorded in Austria (1,976 applicants per million population), followed by Cyprus (1,819) and Croatia (505). By contrast, the lowest rate was observed in Hungary (0.3).

In total, 5,225 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum


In October 2022, 5,225 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum for the first time in the EU, up by 6% compared with September 2022 (4,950).

Most unaccompanied minors who lodged asylum applications in October 2022 came from Afghanistan (2,315), Syria (1,440), Somalia (210), Turkey (140) and Eritrea (135).

The EU countries that received the highest numbers of asylum applications from unaccompanied minors in October 2022 were again Austria (2,055), Germany (800), the Netherlands (590), Belgium (530) and Bulgaria (445). All these five countries saw the number of requests increase except for Austria, which saw a marginal decrease (-15 requests).

Due to temporary derogations, data on unaccompanied minor asylum applicants in France, Cyprus and Poland are not available.

Tourism Deputy Minister Savvas Perdios has concluded a first visit to Washington and New York with a view to gathering information and promoting Cyprus as a tourism destination with a “positive impression” he told CNA. 

The Deputy Minister held meetings in Washington and New York with Cypriot expatriates and tour operators in order to promote the new image and identity of Cyprus tourism.

In statements to CNA he spoke of his meetings and the Deputy Ministry’s goals to access the American market.

“Important meetings were held with ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors), ATTA (Adventure, Travel Trade Association) and USTOA (United States Tour Operators Association),” he said.

These three associations, he added, “are of great importance to us, because they have a significant number of members who are active in the tourism industry and can open the door to America for us and therefore help us to slowly develop this large market.”

Perdios further noted that the advantage of these partnerships is that “they will help us have access to the American market.” He explained that “priority is given to the greater New York area, New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” adding that the first steps will be taken in these areas. 

As the Deputy Minister pointed out, the well-known American cruise company “Royal Caribbean” has already opened a regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean in Cyprus, something which will contribute to creating recognition in the American market.

At the end of the event in Astoria, New York, Perdios told CNA that he got a positive impression from this first trip to approach the American market.

“Our first impression is positive. But above all what we take away is that the Americans, who are well-traveled people, are looking for something new, something different in Europe,” he said.

“The fact that Cyprus is now taking its first steps in this market is positive. This way we will be able to present Cyprus as something new and different,” he noted.

The event took place in a well-known restaurant in Astoria and was attended by many representatives of the Cypriot community there.

Addressing Cypriots of New York at the event shortly before the presentation on the tourism promotion of Cyprus, the Deputy Minister referred to their decision to migrate to another country to build a new life away from their families.

“This is something I have much respect for because I am a refugee myself. Your role is also very important. You are our ambassadors in America and that is why it is important that you are here tonight”, Perdios said.

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