A total of 674 people sought asylum in Norway during the first three months of this year, just over half the number who sought asylum in the first quarter of last year. There aren’t fewer people fleeing war and poverty, it’s just become much harder to get to Northern Europe.
The numbers of new arrivals are even lower, since 234 of those seeking asylum since January are minors already in Norway who were allowed to reapply after a Parliamentary measure last fall halted their pending deportation. They were among young asylum seekers who arrived alone in Norway during the refugee influx of 2015, when more than 30,000 asylum seekers came to Norway.
The mostly teenage boys were granted only temporary asylum until they reached the age of 18. Then they were due to be sent back to their homeland, which was Afghanistan for the vast majority. Immigration agency UDI has estimated that around half of those now reapplying will likely fulfill Norway’s strict requirements for asylum and be allowed to remain in the country.