What are the chances of being granted asylum?

The success rate (recognition rate) from Immigration Service (first instance) has moved up and down during recent years. In 2015 it reached a record high of 85%, in 2016 it dropped to 72%, and in 2017 it ended at 36%, with some months as low as 28%. During the first 10 months of 2018 is has been 58%, but the actual number for newcomers is 35%, if you leave out people who already had residence permit as family reunified from Syria or Eritrea but applied for asylum later. These are called "distant applications", and they used to only form a few percent of the applicants, but in 2018 this group had risen to 30%.

The numbers reflect more than anything else where the applicants are coming from. Almost everybody from Syria and Eritrea are granted asylum all over Europe, and very few unfounded applicants come to Denmark normally. As the percentage of Syrians and Eritreans have dropped in periods, and more people going through the Manifestly Unfounded procedure from Morocco, Georgia and Albania, this affects the recognition rate.

However, it has also become harder for Iraqis, Afghans and Somalis to obtain asylum. These nationalities are judged harder in Denmark than in EU on average.

The chance of getting permission for family reunification afterwards is also depending on which country you come from – even though refugees do not have to meet all the criteria. This is mainly due to the demands on documents and proofs, which can be hard for many refugees to live up to. The percentage of positive decisions vary a lot for 2018, depending on country: Eritrea 36%, Somalia 37%, Syria 54%, Iran 73%, Thailand 82%.

RESIDENCE PERMITS GRANTED TO REFUGEES (incl. humanitarian and resettlement)

The chance of getting asylum has also dropped for Afghans, Iranians, Iraqis and Somalis. Only 16% of Afghans were granted asylum in Denmark in 2017. The same tendency can be seen all over EU, though Denmark has a tougher course than most other countries. Read more about Afghans here.

The Refugee Appeals Board (second instance) overturned 17% of the negative rulings from the Danish Immigration Service in 2018.




First instance decisions EU-28

"Remote registrants" represent almost a third of all asylum applications in Denmark now – an unusually large part. This means people who already had a residence permit (most often as family reunified), and almost all of them are Syrians and Eritreans, who are sure to be granted asylum. This affects the statistics significantly. We have not beeen able to get an answer to whether the EU total also includes thos group, and how many there are. Therefore the total humbers are hard to compare.

The recognition rate has been dropping in EU the last couple of years: But for some of the main nationalities, it is much harder to get asylum in Denmark than most countries, as shown in the figure above. Especially Afghans, Iraqis and Somalis have a much lower chance in Denmark than EUs average, including Germany and Sweden. Our neigbour countries have, however, come closer to the Danish line lately. The higher rate for Eritreans and Syrians in Denmark might be explained by the fact that they are first instance decisons – some countries will grant them asylum in the second instance.

Significant differences and developments (see the colured arrows in the figure below) are amongst others: Denmark continues to give Eritreans convention status, but Sweden and Germany have started to reject a certian amount, though the situation in Eritrea is still the same. All Iraqis got rejected in Denmark last year, but only 3 years earlier they all got convention status in Germany – and now only 39% gets asylum. A Somali has a 92% risk of rejection in Denmark, but only 62% in Sweden. Denmark is generally granting fewer asylum, and when it comes to Syrians, fewer gets convention status. However, the latter can be due to the high amount of remote registrants, who will most often be women and be granted the 7(3) status.

Read more: 'Asylum decisions are influenced by politics' (from 2017)

ASYLUM DECISIONS 2015 + 2018, largest nationalities, certain countries

Which status do you get?

Since February 2015 there has been 3 different asylum statuses: Art. 7(1), convention status, refers directly to the UN Refugee Convention. Art. 7(2), protection status, refers to the other human rights conventions and the ban against torture. And then there is the new art. 7(3), temporary protection against general risk.

Almost one third are granted the weaker status 7(3), which does not give access to family reunification for the first 3 years. The majority of those are women and unaccompanied minors from Syria. All three statuses are, however, temporary, are only given for 1-2 years at a time and can be revoked again. Convention status is very rarely revoked.