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Ukrainian refugees drive record asylum numbers in Norway

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected]
Ukrainian refugees drive record asylum numbers in Norway
The war in Ukraine led to record aslyum applications in Norway in 2022. An Ukrainian refugee walks with luggage after crossing the Russian-Latvian border at Terehova border checkpoint, in Terehova, Latvia on June 2, 2022. Photo by Gints Ivuskans / AFP

More than 40,000 refugees applied for asylum in Norway in 2022. The application figures exceed the previous record by almost 10,000, according to figures released by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration. 

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Some 40,750 refugees applied for asylum in Norway in 2022, figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) reveal

The previous record for asylum applications was set in 2015, when 31,150 applicants requested to remain in Norway as refugees. 

The overwhelming majority of these were from Ukrainian nationals requesting temporary collective protection, which allows all Ukrainian citizens fleeing the country to settle in Norway as refugees. 

Over 34,847 Ukrainian nationals applied for temporary collective protection in 2022, which allows refugees to be granted asylum-seeker status for a year before being able to extend their status for up to a  further three years.

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By the end of 2022, 33,554 applicants had been granted collective protection in Norway by the UDI. 

The UDI said that while the number of asylum applications was driven mainly by the war in Ukraine, other asylum applications also increased. These applications were processed individually rather than granted to an entire group.

“In 2022, the UDI received a total of 5,517 ordinary asylum applications, which are processed on an individual basis. This number has not been higher since the Syrian crisis in 2015. The increase is thus also large compared to before the pandemic: In 2019, there were 2,305 who applied for protection - in 2021, the number was 1,656,” the UDI wrote in a press release. 

Syrians, Afghans, Eritreans and Russians made up the nationals to make the most ordinary asylum applications. Throughout 2022, the UDI approved some 1,105 ordinary asylum applications. 

As a result of the increase in asylum applications, the number of those living in temporary reception centres by the end of the year increased by 7,000 to 9,000 during 2022. 

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