The number of asylum applications filed in Germany has decreased in February by 23 percent compared to the same period last year. The backlog of unprocessed asylum applications was further reduced to a total of 55,279.
German authorities announced Monday that they cleared about 21,300 asylum applications in February and 29,200 in January. The Interior Ministry said the backlog of asylum requests was therefore reduced to 55,300 in February, as compared to a high of 333,800 in February 2017. Germany's Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has been under intense criticism for letting asylum requests pile up.
In February, 37 percent of applicants were rejected, 31 percent were referred to another EU country on basis of the Dublin regulation. As well, 15 percent of applicants were granted refugee protection, and 11 percent received subsidiary protection.
Germany has taken in more than 1 million migrants and refugees since 2015 from countries including Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. But the number of asylum seekers arriving in Germany has fallen to pre-refugee crisis levels in recent times. There were 11,000 people who applied for asylum in February 2018, 3,300 fewer than in the same month in 2017, according to BAMF. Most of the asylum applicants hailed from Syria, Iraq and Nigeria.