Numbers of people applying for asylum in Norway has fallen by nearly 50% in the last three years, reports say.
Official Directorate of Immigration (UDI) figures show 17,226 came to Norway in 2009. 9,053 arrived last year.
The decrease is tied to factors such as faster handling of applications. UDI Director Ida Børresen told NTB, “The fact that we have shortened the processing time can make those who do not meet the requirements think again before they travel to Norway.”
According to her, the number of asylum seekers entering Norway changes on a year-to- year basis.
“Annual numbers illustrate how unpredictable the area is. Many forecasted that the turmoil in North Africa would lead to an influx of asylum seekers to Norway. This has not happened so far,” she said.
The number of people granted asylum has increased, with 52% of applications being approved in 2011. Nonetheless, figures for foreign nationals asked to leave Norway country or deported are also up in some areas of the country.
Asker and Bærum immigration officials removed 105 people from Norway in the last year, an increase of 100% in the course of a two-year period.
“We have had good results. I am very pleased with the section which has worked well over the past year,” head of administration in Asker and Bærum police, Christina Rooth, told Budstikka.