A total of 17 people were granted asylum by the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration during the first quarter of 2015. Similar to previous years the people granted asylum have been from all over the world but the respective situations in Eritrea and Ukraine affect the statistics with almost half of applicants granted asylum coming from these two countries. Additionally, the Directorate issued residence permits for 15 resettlement refugees.
The approval rate of asylum application was relatively low in the first quarter, with about one-third of all applications processed on the merit being approved. That makes for about 20% of the total number of all applications. In part this is due to a significant number of applications from citizens of the Balkan-states, where there is no armed conflict and people generally do not need to fear persecution or inhumane treatment. A total of 18 decisions were made regarding applications from citizens from Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo. Moreover, two citizens of Switzerland were denied asylum and their applications deemed manifestly unfounded.
Decisions were made on eight applications from people who had already been granted asylum or other international protection in a safe European coubtry. They are to return to the country where they have been afforded protection. A total of 20 application were processed according to the Dublin Regulation.
No residence permits on humanitarian grounds were granted in connection with asylum applications during the first quarter but this type of permit has been relatively uncommon in the past few years. However, ten such permits were issued without an asylum application being lodged. This includes permits for relatives of people with such permits.
Please note that the aticle is based on preliminary statistics.