About 1.3% of all applications in the EU were filed in Ireland.

Highest number of asylum applications filed on record last year

Over 13,600 people applied for international protection last year.

THERE WAS A 415% increase in asylum applications last year when compared to 2019, new data has revealed.

The highest number of asylum applications on record were filed last year, totally over 13,600.

International Protection is granted to those who have escaped persecution in their country of origin or are fearful for their safety in their country, and are granted permission to stay in Ireland.

Research from European Migration Network (EMN) Ireland, published by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), found that 1.3% of all international protection applications made within the European Union last year, were made in Ireland.

The majority of these applications were accepted on humanitarian status. Just over a third were made in line with the Geneva refugee status and very few, 2%, were offered subsidiary protection status.

The top three countries of origin who applied for international protection were Georgia, Alegria and Somalia.

Despite the fact that Georgia is recognised as a “country of safe origin”, under section 72 of the International Protection Act 2015, twenty percent of applicants that applied for protection were from the country. The justice minister must, on a regular basis, review the countries in the section.

Although the EMN highlighted that the Minister for Justice Heather Humphries adopted new regulations in November last year to accelerate the international protection procedure, including the consideration of applicants from safe countries of origin.

Migration is being impacted by shortages in the labour market and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the research suggests. As a result of these developments, and other factors, Ireland saw a significant increase in immigration last year.

Despite the post-pandemic increases, the EMA highlights how Non-Governmental Agencies have called on the state to pick up the pace to end direct provision and implement the steps it agreed to in a white paper.

According to data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), 141,600 people arrived within the year leading up to April 2023. This represents a 31% increase from the year to April 2022.

First-residents permits, granted to those living in Ireland outside of the EEA, also so an increase last year with over 85,700 permits issue.

Education the most common reason for permits while almost 40,000 employment permits were issued “partially reflecting changes to eligible occupations for employment permits”.

The number of employment permits issued was the highest issued in the last decade, with the information and communication sector the largest recipient of permits.

This news comes as it was revealed yesterday that it is a “real possibility” that the government could run out of accommodation for those coming into the country from overseas within days.

Equality minister Roderic O’Gorman informed Cabinet today that he is looking at measures “to make sure that we don’t get to that situation”. 

Speaking at Farmleigh House yesterday, the Tánaiste Micheál Martin said: “We’ve had situations like this last year… we managed to deal with it, but it is a challenging situation.”