In October, 175 asylum seekers came to Norway, according to figures issued by the Directorate of Immigration (UDI) on Monday.
In September, 183 asylum seekers arrived, and arrival numbers have remained stable at just under 50 new asylum seekers per week for several months.
In total, 3,236 asylum seekers came to Norway in the first ten months of 2017. 2,000, came here on their own. The rest, 1,252 applicants, were transferred to Norway from Greece and Italy through Norway’s voluntary participation in the EU’s relocation scheme.
In May, UDI estimated that 3,000 ordinary asylum seekers would come to Norway in 2017. In October, the estimate was lowered to 2,500.
Fewer at reception centres
UDI explained the lowered estimate as being due to fewer asylum seekers arriving during the summer months than had been expected. They think the lower level of arrivals will last throughout the year. Additionally, the number of ordinary asylum seekers is expected to be halved in 2018, from 6,000 to 3,000.
We have to go back to 1997 to find such low numbers of asylum seekers. That year, around 2,300 people sought asylum in this country.
Occupancy at asylum reception centres has been more than halved this year. In January, 12,700 people were living in Norwegian reception centres. By the end of October, the figure was reduced to 6,200.
Approximately 1,500 of the residents have received their final decision, and are required to leave the country, while 2,600 people are waiting for answers to asylum applications, or a response to an appeal after refusal. The rest are waiting for settlement in a municipality.
Family reunions remain stable
The number of family reunions remains stable, even though the number of asylum seekers is falling.
So far this year, 12,352 people have come to Norway as part of family reunion immigration.
Citizens from Syria and Eritrea top the list with 2,468, and 1,337respectively in the first ten months of the year. More than half of asylum seekers who came to Norway this year also arrived from these two countries.
By comparison, 12,600 family reunion participants came to Norway in 2015, and 15,300 last year.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today