2.654 Asylum Seekers – a decline of 900

Residence card Asylum SeekersThe Norwegian residence permit card includes a photo of the person, signature and fingerprint. The fingerprints are not stored anywhere else than on the card itself for privacy reasons. Photo: UDI

2.654 Asylum Seekers in 2018 – a decline of 900

The number of asylum seekers drops further. A total of 2,654 persons applied for asylum in Norway last year, which is the lowest number since the mid-nineties.

This is the third year in a row where the number of asylum seekers is approximately at this level. In 2016, there were 3,460 asylum seekers, and in 2017 there were 3,560, but these figures include 257 and 1,252 relocated asylum seekers, which Norway accepted from Greece and Italy, the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) states.

“It may look like the asylum arrivals have stabilised at a considerably lower level than in the years before 2015. Then there were between 9,000 and 12,000 asylum seekers per year,” UDI Director Frode Forfang informs.

Of the asylum seekers who came last year, 29 per cent claim to be from Turkey (765), Syria (419) and Eritrea (241).


“The number of asylum seekers from Turkey has risen after the coup attempt in the summer of 2016. It has been varying from one month to the next, but there is a marked increase from the summer of 2018 and for the remainder of the year,” Forfang explains.

There were 159 unaccompanied minors last year, which represents 6 per cent of all asylum applicants. In this applicant group, seven out of ten claim to come from Syria, Afghanistan or Eritrea.

In addition to the 2,654 ordinary asylum seekers, the UDI received applications from 399 persons who had previously come as unaccompanied minors, regarding renewed treatment under temporary provisions. About 100 of these, all young men claiming to be Afghani, have been granted a positive response to their application.

Facts about asylum seekers in 2018

  • Norway received 2,654 asylum applications in 2018. This constitutes a drop from 3,560 in 2017 and 3,460 in 2016. In 2015, 31,150 asylum seekers arrived in Norway, partly due to a rumour that Norway had issued a «carte blanche».
  • The UDI also received applications from 399 persons who had previously come as unaccompanied minors.
  • The largest group of seekers came from Turkey (765), Syria (419), Eritrea (241), Iran (119) or Iraq (104)
  • 1,480 persons have been granted their asylum application in 2018. This gives a grant percentage of 72 for the applications that have been perceived as substantial and 54 per cent of the grand total of applications (2,673) that have been processed.
  • 59 per cent of the applicants is either underage or grown men.

790 applicants claim to be below 18 years old, which corresponds to 30 per cent of the total, a majority in this group came together with their families. 159 of the applicants under the age of 18 came on their own.

(Source: UDI)