In the period od 1 January – 6 September 2018, a total of 2810 persons applied for protection in Poland. The drop in the number of applications is significant and amounts to 28%.
The HNLAC’s report talks in detail about the recent changes in numbers, trends and nationalities of persons seeking international protection in Poland this year, presents relevant statistics and compares the recognition rates among different nationality groups.
It is important to notice, that the percentage of persons absconding the refugee procedure (resulting in formal discontinuation of the administrative proceedings) is by 10% smaller in 2018 (41%) smaller than in 2017 (51%) and in 2016 (73%) .
There is a continuous tension at the border crossing in Terespol which is the main gateway of asylum seekers into Poland. This protracted crisis concerns broadly reported difficulties in filing asylum applications at the border. Persons attempting to enter Poland coming predominantly from the Northern Caucasus (Chechnya) and quoting asylum needs as their reason for travel are often not qualified as asylum seekers and thus receive decisions denying them entry. Many of them undertake multiple attempts at entry, often remaining in orbit between Belarus and Poland for months.
Asylum seekers with more than 10 attempts to cross the border in order to apply for international protection face the risk of deportation or expulsion from Belarus. This tendency was noticed by the NGO operating in Belarus, as well as reported to HNLAC by the asylum seekers. Despite the fact that the citizens of Russian Federation are entitled to stay on the territory of Belarus for 90 days without registration (citizens of other countries – 5 days), Citizenship and Migration Departments in Brest tend to reduce the period of stay of the foreigner on the territory of Belarus. The decision is accompanied by a stamp in a passport with a date by which the foreigner is obliged to leave the country. In addition, in the number of cases this decision was followed by the decision to impose a ban on entering the territory of Belarus. The legal basis of such decision is specified by the paragraph 9 of article 30 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On the Legal Status of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons in the Republic of Belarus", as "there are sufficient grounds to believe that a foreigner can [...] use the territory of the Republic of Belarus for illegal migration to a third state".
Read the full report by clicking here.