UDI guessed there will be 7,000 asylum seekers this year, and 7,000 coming to live in Norway next year. But they stressed that the estimate is uncertain.
‘The estimate was prepared in February 2017, and the assessments are based on developments up to the beginning of February 2017 and the information that existed at the time’, said UDI.
In 2016, 3,460 people sought for protection in Norway. It was the lowest number since 1997. Border controls are credited for supplying the figures.
‘Our assessment is that limits, and ID controls in Europe, have had a decisive effect on the arrival figures to Norway’, wrote UDI.
The low arrival numbers from last year have continued into 2017.
So far this year, there have been 858 asylum seekers arriving in Norway, but two thirds of these 574 persons are applicants who have been transferred to the Norwegian voluntary participation in the EU relocation scheme.
Norway has promised to accept 1,500 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy during 2016 and 2017, and UDI guesses the quota will be filled by the summer.
UDI were expecting approximately 750 unaccompanied minors as asylum seekers in 2017, though so far this year the figure is only 45.
‘Migration potential is huge, and there is no information suggesting that potential asylum seekers’ motivation to emigrate has been reduced.
We therefore assume that the number of migrants wishing to emigrate to Europe is as high as before’, underlined the Immigration Directorate.
There are many assumptions underlying the estimate, but the most important is probably that the agreement between the EU and Turkey will continue as at present, and that asylum seekers arriving to Greece remains at a low level.
In addition, it is assumed that border controls within the Schengen and the Western Balkans are mostly maintained as today.
UDI also emphasised that any visa-free entry into Turkey, Georgia and Ukraine may have an impact on the number of asylum seekers coming to Europe in 2017 and 2018.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today