In 2014 and 2015 many European countries were confronted with a steep rise in asylum applications, primarily by Syrian nationals. This dramatic increase led to exceptional challenges with regard to the identification, registration and screening of these newcomers.
As there is a high probability that Syrians are granted asylum, these cases warrant fast and efficient processing, so that individuals can start their integration process as soon as possible. At the same time, Syrians are arguably a group of applicants for whom it is important to thoroughly assess whether there are reasons to assume that applicants have been involved in serious crimes prior to their arrival in the host country, or whether the case involves fundamental national interests or foreign policy considerations (‘security cases’).
How have Norway, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands dealt with the challenges in relation to identification, registration and screening of Syrian asylum seekers during the high influx? CICJ researchers Joris van Wijk and Maarten Bolhuis will carry out a comparative research into this question. The project entitled ‘Management, ID controls and case management for applications from Syrian asylum seekers‘ is funded by the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) and starts in October 2017.