The Migration Department under the Ministry of the Interior informs that it has already examined one third – 1,289 – of asylum applications of migrants crossing the Belarusian border illegally.
Refugee status was granted to 2 Eritrean citizens, they were issued a permanent residence permit in Lithuania, 878 migrants were not granted asylum, and 409 asylum applications of illegal migrants were terminated due to the return or departure of migrants to their countries of origin.
2,267 asylum applications from illegal migrants are still pending. 170 employees of the Migration Department were used for this purpose. In order to process asylum applications quickly and carefully, an additional 56 staff members were recruited to the Migration Department, especially for the emergency period. Approximately 75 surveys of asylum seekers are conducted per day and about 50 decisions are prepared. The majority of asylum applications are expected to be processed within a month.
“Large forces have been mobilized to process asylum applications. We strive for both illegal migrants and the Lithuanian people to be in the dark for as short a time as possible. To this end, we are also submitting to the Seimas amendments to the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens, which will further speed up the processing of asylum applications during the emergency and regulate the procedure for migrant accommodation after the 6-month border procedure, ”says Minister A. Bilotaitė.
With the strengthening of cooperation between the Migration Department, the State Border Guard Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the number of illegal migrants returning to their countries of origin is also increasing. The State Border Guard Service reports that 34 people were deported from the country last week.
A total of 260 illegal migrants have been deported from Lithuania since the beginning of the year. There are currently 414 illegal migrants awaiting deportation, whose asylum applications have not been granted and appeal procedures have already been carried out.
According to the Minister of the Interior A. Bilotaitė, it is obvious that the goal of most illegal migrants is not Lithuania and they, with the help of human smugglers, leave their countries for economic reasons. However, according to the Minister, the Lithuanian border is closed to persons trying to enter Lithuania and the European Union illegally.
“Our country is open to all who seek asylum in legal ways. Illegal border crossing will not be tolerated, “A. Bilotaitė emphasized.
This year, asylum was granted to 276 persons in Lithuania – Afghan citizens who worked as interpreters in missions, Belarusian opposition citizens and others.