UK accepts 55% of Albanian asylum seekers compared to France’s 2.3% and Germany’s 0%

By Thomas Brooke
4 Min Read

The United Kingdom accepted more than 55 percent of the asylum applications it processed from Albanian nationals in 2021, accepting more applications than all other advanced economies combined, new data has revealed.

According to World Data, a total of 4,754 asylum applications were submitted to the British authorities by Albanian nationals, of which 755 were processed — 418 were accepted while 337 applications were rejected. Only Canada surpasses the acceptance rate witnessed in Britain, with a staggering 68.9 percent of asylum applications considered in 2021 being given the green light.

In contrast, a similar number (4,380) of applications were submitted by Albanians in France. However, of the 3,215 processed in 2021, just 74 were accepted, an acceptance rate of just 2.3 percent.

The total number of initial and continuing asylum applications of refugees from Albania for the year 2021.
Source: World Data

In Greece, just 10 Albanian applications of the 1,657 considered in 2021 were approved, equal to 0.6 percent.

Of the 21 countries to process asylum applications from Albanian nationals in 2021, 12 countries rejected every application. These countries include Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Austria.

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Albania, which ranks 41st on the Global Peace Index in 2022, is considered internationally to be a “safe” country, i.e., it is not currently at war or in a state of internal armed conflict. This is not the sole criteria upon which an asylum application is based; for instance, asylum seekers can be offered safe haven if they can prove they are at risk of persecution due to their race or religion. Still, it significantly reduces the justification for the scale of applications being submitted in some Western countries.

Curiously, Priti Patel, the former U.K. home secretary who held office throughout 2021, described Albania as a “safe and prosperous country” in a press release dated Aug. 25, 2022, following a meeting with her Albanian counterpart.

“Those coming from Albania are traveling through multiple countries to make the journey to the UK. Many then make spurious asylum claims when they arrive,” she added, begging the question as to why so many Albania nationals were succeeding with asylum claims.

Data from the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford laid bare the upward trend in the acceptance of Albanian asylum claims in Britain over the past decade, rising rapidly from just 5 percent to 55 percent this year, without there being a clear explanation to account for the increasing rate.

Initial decision grant rate for adult Albanian asylum applicants in the U.K., for decisions made from 2012 to 2021.
Source: The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford

Close to one quarter of the 40,000 plus asylum seekers arriving in Britain thus far in 2022 via the English Channel have been from Albania. Some military reports suggest the Albanian share of Channel migrants is as high as 4 in 10.

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Italy, at 19.9 percent, is the only other European country with an acceptance rate in the double digits.

Albania ranks fourth in the list of top countries from which asylum seekers to the U.K. originate, sandwiched between genuinely unsafe countries including Iraq, Eritrea, Syria, Afghanistan, and Sudan.

Asylum applications from foreign refugees in the United Kingdom for the year 2021.
Source: World Data

Iran, from which many of the educated elite continue to flee due to political crackdowns and heavy-handed social and religious control by the state, remained the top country of origin for asylum seekers in Britain.

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