New asylum requests top family reunification applications for first time this year

A total of 4,400 people applied for asylum in the Netherlands in the third quarter of this year, and 2,300 people joined family members that already have residency in the country, Statistics Netherlands reports. This is the first time since the third quarter of 2016 that the number of new asylum requests is higher than family reunification applications. 

The majority of asylum seekers and people joining family members came from Syria, Eritrea and Iraq in the third quarter. The number of family reunification arrivals was 1,500 lower than in the second quarter, and the number from Eritrea also decreased. The number of family reunification arrivals from Iraq was at about the same level as in the previous quarter. The number of new asylum seekers increased slightly in all three groups. 

Over half of asylum seekers that arrived in the Netherlands in the third quarter are adult men, though at 53 percent the proprtion is slightly lower than in the previous three quarters. 19 percent are adult women and the other 28 percent are children. 

Over the past year, the proportion of adult men joining family members in the Netherlands increased to 54 percent. In the third quarter of 2016, only 40 percent of family reunification applications were from adult men.