In 2022, almost 37,000 people applied for international protection. This is 40% more than the previous year. In addition, 63,000 Ukrainians were granted temporary protection in our country. This sharp increase in influx has made this year a real challenge for all migration services.
On 18 January 2023, State Secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor, together with all the asylum services, namely the Immigration Office, the Office of the Commissioner General for Refugees and Stateless Persons and Fedasil, presented the statistics for the year 2022. A total of 36,871 people applied for international protection in our country. This is 40% more than in 2021 and the highest number since 2015. The main countries of origin are Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Burundi and Eritrea. In addition, 63,356 Ukrainians have been granted temporary protection.
This growing influx puts pressure on migration services. The reception network of Fedasil is saturated, while the CGRS and the Immigration Office have seen their workload increase. Among other things, the number of Dublin procedures at the Immigration Office has risen sharply, even exceeding the pre-COVID-19 level. "In 2023, we will strive to reduce the workload. In this way, we will also help to reduce the pressure on other sectors of the asylum chain, such as the reception network", said Freddy Roosemont, Director General of the Immigration Office. Since the end of August, an accelerated Dublin procedure has been put in place to achieve this objective.
Solutions are also being considered at the political level. "Structural measures in the Belgian asylum system are necessary to achieve better migration management in the future. That is why I am proposing a first package of legal reforms this month. These are measures at the legislative level that are urgently needed to achieve a better controlled migration policy", said Nicole de Moor. In addition, the Secretary of State wants to work on the reform of the migration services and continues to advocate for more solidarity at European level within the Council of Europe.