1,939 applications received in 2010 as against 11,634 in 2002
5th July 2011: The number of asylum seekers aspiring for refugee status has dropped to a 15 year low in Ireland. New figures depict 1,939 applications were received in 2010, including 37 from minors who arrived on their own.
There were 2,689 applications for asylum in 2009, compared to a record 11,634 in 2002.
The tenth annual report of the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) divulged that the 27.9 per cent, drop brought, numbers seeking to stay in Ireland back to levels last seen since 1996.
A fifth were from Nigeria, 11.8 percent from China, a tenth from Pakistan. The people from the Democratic Republic of Congo accounted for 3.7 percent of applications, and Afghanistan was 3.6 percent.
The ORAC considers applications for refugee status before making a reference to the justice minister. It is also responsible for the investigation of reports on successful applicants who want a family member to enter or live in the State.
A total of 323 applications were for family reunification, with 130 received from people in detention.
There were 112 legal disputes against a decision – including 24 cases in relation to the Dublin II Regulation which determines if another EU member state is responsible for processing an asylum application.
Some 1,515 sets of fingerprints of asylum applicants were taken, with 208 hits on an EU database that confirmed a person had made an asylum application in another country before arriving in Ireland.
Elsewhere, 525 asylum applications were withdrawn from the process for various reasons, including applicants failing to co-operate or attend for interview.