The number of people applying for international protection in Estonia has gone down by more than half over the past year, mainly because fewer Ukrainian citizens submitted applications.
A total of 107 people had applied for protection by the end of November, director of the Police and Border Guard’s migration office, Maige Lepp, told ERR’s radio news. The main reason for the drop had been that fewer Ukrainian citizens had applied.
Most applications in 2016 came from people of Russian, Palestinian, Iranian, Afghan, and Albanian origin. Processing a request for protection typically takes about 90 days.
Juhan Saharov of the Johannes Mihkelson Centre, an NGO based in Tartu, said that those who came here under the European Union’s relocation scheme usually had their applications processed quicker than that. This was due to the fact that the Estonian committees deciding on refugees’ participation in the EU redistribution scene already did most of the required work.
According to data by Eurostat, Estonia received 225 applications for protection or asylum in 2015, and 145 in 2014.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn