Number of asylum seekers arriving in Malta reaches record low

Only 745 applications from asylum seekers were presented to the Maltese authorities this year, a record low compared to the last decade, new figures published by Eurostat show.

This is contrary to the trend in the rest of the EU, which, following the pandemic, has again seen a rise in the number of third-country nationals claiming asylum and wanting to settle in the EU.

An analysis of Eurostat data by The Shift shows that while 2022 was already the year in which Malta received the least number of first-time asylum applications since 2013, with just 910, indications show that this trend is expected to continue for 2023.

Until October, Malta had received just 745 applications.

The situation is very different than in previous years when Malta experienced an influx of asylum seekers, mainly due to political turmoil and conflicts in Libya and Syria. So far, the ongoing conflict in the Middle East does not seem to have any repercussions on Malta’s asylum application numbers.

Between 2013 and 2022, Malta had an average of 2,019 asylum applications, more than half of those registered this year.

According to 2022 figures, the most asylum applicants received by Malta were from Syrians, 245, followed by Eritreans (90) and Bangladesh (75).

Most asylum seekers come to Malta by boat, usually from Libya.

Stock photo of migrant rescue.

The EU is experiencing a different trend.

In 2022, the number of asylum seekers reached a million, an increase of more than 50% over the previous year.

Syrians, Afghans, Venezuelans, and Turks lodged the most applications together, accounting for almost 40% of all first-time asylum applicants in EU member states in 2022.

With 217,735 applicants registered in 2022, Germany accounted for 24.7 % of all first-time applications in 2022. It was followed by France (15.6%) and Spain (13.2%). The lowest number was observed in Hungary.


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