|First asylum requests||Following family members|
|Source: CBS, IND|
First asylum requests
In March 2020, the Netherlands received 1,025 first asylum requests. This is on average 40 percent lower than in the months of January (1,970) and February (1,515). The decrease represents a break from the seasonal pattern over the past three years with more asylum requests in March than in February. Year-on-year, there were 850 fewer asylum requests in March 2020.
The decline in March 2020 is linked to the international and national COVID-19 measures.
Syrians remain the largest group
Over the first three months of this year, one-quarter of asylum requests (1,100) were submitted by Syrians. These amounted to 220 in March. There were 290 asylum requests from Algerian nationals and more than 200 from people with Turkish, Moroccan or Nigerian nationality.
|Q1 2020*||Q1 2019|
|Source: CBS, IND|
Almost no new asylum requests from Moldovans
In Q1 2020, the number of asylum requests made by Moldovan nationals was almost zero. This number was still 315 in the same quarter last year. Fewer requests were submitted by Iranians and Nigerians: these numbers dropped by more than half. Requests by Afghan and Colombian nationals, on the other hand, increased in number compared to Q1 2019.
Family reunification down by almost 75 percent
The number of following relatives - family members of asylum permit holders to whom a provisional residence permit (mvv) has been granted and who receive a residence permit after entering the country - decreased to 125. This means that family reunification declined by almost three-quarters relative to January and February. Dutch embassies stopped providing a number of consular services due to the COVID-19 measures, also suspending the issuance of mvvs.
In the first three months of this year, 1,060 family members were granted a permit to enter the Netherlands. Nearly half of this group were Eritreans. In addition, over 300 Syrians received this authorisation. Eritrean nationals were still the largest group in March.