International protection in Poland: 1st half of 2020
The Office For Foreigners (UDSC abbreviation in polish) summed up the first half od 2020. The newest data confirm that the national authorities maintain unfavourable environment for asylum seekers.The recognition rate remain disproportionately low. Only 169 people receive the protection status, while 1300 application have been lodged. Almost the half of applications were first-time cases. The significant majority of people received negative decisions according to official website - there were 1000 refusals and 730 cases were discontinued.
Due to COVID-19 heath crisis, for a few months, from March 12 according to the social and human rights organisations, the Polish authorities suspended asylum applications on the border crossing points as external border have been closed. Application for protection for people who already reside in Poland was also hindered, as the offices of the Border Guards and Office for Foreigners suspended the assistance. The number of applications for international protection in the first half of 2020 was 29 percent lower compared to the same period of 2019.
The largest number of applications came from Russian Federation asylum seekers - 819. This was followed by applications from Ukraine and Tadjikistan, with 144 and 58 applications respectively. Two other countries of origin were Turkey (34) and Georgia (34).
Recognition rate among applicants with Turkish citizenship was much higher than for other nationalities (47 among 169 received positive decisions). As soon as only 38 Russian and 17 Tajik have obtained protection status. But there were mainly people with Russian (582) and Ukrainian (176) citizenships who received the negative decisions.
The newest data confirm that the recognition rate of asylum applications in Poland remain low. As soon the EU+ average recognition rate in 2019 was 33 %, it Poland only 13,1% of first-instance decisions were positive (granting refugee status or subsidiary protection).
The duration of administrative procedures remain also to pose a significant challange for asylum seekers. Average waiting time for those who have applied for protection in Poland is around one year and eights months.
NIEM’s National Advocacy Officer
The European and Migration Policy Programme
Institute of Public Affairs
Poland. Overview of statistical practice,
Ochrona międzynarodowa w I połowie 2020 r.