Decrease in asylum-seekers to Israel from Eastern Europe

Significant drop in number of asylum seekers arriving as tourists from Ukraine and Georgia in first half of 2018, says Population Authority.

Mordechai Sones,

Asylum-seekers
Asylum-seekers
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The Population and Immigration Authority notes that as of the end of June there was a significant drop in the number of tourists coming to Israel from Georgia and the Ukraine submitting requests for asylum.

In the past four years there has been a sharp increase in applications, with the overwhelming majority being idle requests that significantly burdened the system.

In 2013, four tourists from Ukraine filed a request for asylum, while in 2017 the number increased to 7,711. This year there has been a significant decline and 1,131 applications have so far been submitted.

The same applies to tourists from Georgia. In 2013 one tourist filed such a request while in 2017 1,351 filed applications. This year so far 378 have filed.

From some of the requests concern arises that applications are submitted without a justified basis and in order to obtain a visa showing the person to have been in Israel only. In light of this, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri conducted an examination procedure in order to examine the basis for submitting requests.

According to Deri, "The decrease in requests for asylum is due to sharpening the examination procedure, which immediately caused a decrease. I am satisfied with this."

Population and Immigration Authority Director Shlomo Mor-Yosef clarified that "flooding the unit with empty asylum requests made activity difficult and highlighted the need to make a real distinction between those who are indeed asylum-seekers and those whose applications are based on other reasons. The new test procedure enabled us to map the requests and the results of the mapping are already expressed in the field."


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