In the year 2015, 82 individuals were granted protection by the Directorate of Immigration. The largest group were Syrians or 17 individuals. In total, persons of 26 nationalities were granted protection in 2015. The largest group of protection seekers that year were Albanians.
How many sought protection in the year 2015?
Applications for protection in Iceland were twice as many in the year 2015 than in the two years before. 354 in total. Never before have this many people sought protection in Iceland in one year.
The development is similar in our neighboring countries as you can see in the table below. In Finland it looked as if there would be nearly ten times as many applications for protection last year than 2014 compared to numbers from 30.11.2015. In Norway three times as many people applied for protection in 2015 than 2014 and in Sweden, which has received more protection seekers per capita than any other country in Europe, the number of applicants was twice as many as last year. In Germany the number of applications for protection grew from 202 thousand to 476 thousand between 2014 and 2015. However, German authorities assume that approximately 1 million protection seekers entered the country last year but only a part of them could submit their application for protection already due to the workload at the German immigration authorities. Of all the Nordic countries the increase in the number of applications for protection was the least in Denmark or around 25%.
Where did the protection seekers come from?
The largest group of protection seekers in Iceland in 2015 came from Albania, approx. 30%, and in total 42% of all applications for protection were from citizens of the Balkan countries, Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. In place two, three and five were Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans.
The composition of protection seekers in Iceland differs from other European countries, where people from war-ravaged countries like Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Afghanistan make up the majority of protection seekers. The circumstances of the majority of protection seekers in Iceland are therefore in some aspects different from the norm in the neighboring countries.
Conclusion of cases in 2015
In the year 2015, 323 cases were completed by the Directorate. 82 cases were not examined in substance either because the applicant had been granted a residence permit in another country (32) or because his case was being processed by another country (50) and 47 applicants withdrew their applications or disappeared.
Of the 194 applications that were examined in substance, protection was granted in 82 cases, 66 were granted asylum and 16 were granted residence permits based on humanitarian grounds. 112 applicants were refused which makes a 42% ratio of granted protection.
Who was given protection and who was refused?
The largest group granted protection in Iceland in the year 2015 were Syrians, a total of 17, not including the resettlement refugees invited by the authorities. They were followed by Russians (8), Iranians (6), Nigerians (6) and Ukrainians (6). All in all, persons of 26 nationalities were granted protection in Iceland in 2015.
The most common nationality of those refused protection were Albanians, 54 individuals, followed by Macedonians (20) and Kosovars (5). All in all persons of 21 nationalities were refused protection in Iceland in 2015.
These conclusions are consistent with other European countries. The total rate of recognition of Syrians as refugees in the member states of the European Union in the third quarter of 2015 was 98% and 1% for Albanians.