Brazil Received Record Number of Asylum Requests in 2018

Brazil received 80,000 requests in 2018

Flávia Mantovani
São Paulo

The number of foreigners seeking asylum in Brazil more than doubled in a year and hit a record in 2018. There were 80,057 requests, compared to 33,800 in 2017, according to figures released Thursday by the Ministry of Justice.

The increase was mainly driven by Venezuelans, responsible last year for 3 out of 4 requests. Haitians, Cubans, and Chinese came next.

The number of Venezuelans who took requested asylum in Brazil last year - 61,000 - is three times higher than in 2017 (17,800) and more than 18 times higher than in 2016 (3,300). In total, there are more than 99,000 pending immigrant cases from this country, according to April 2019 data.

Venezuelans in Manaus - Fabiano Maisonnave / Folhapress

According to the UN, more than 4 million people left Venezuela by June this year due to the country's severe political and economic crisis - according to the OAS, the number could double by the end of 2020.

Brazil, however, receives far fewer immigrants from this country than other South American nations: in Colombia alone, also a border, there are more than 1.3 million Venezuelans. Peru, Chile, and Ecuador follow.

Despite the high number of refuge requests filed in 2018 in Brazil, the number of requests approved by Conare in the same year was more modest: 13,084. The delay for the response maybe two years or more.

Of the assessed applications, only 6% (777) were recognized. Almost 900 (7%) were denied, and the remainder were shelved or extinguished for reasons such as the withdrawal of one's own person or a preference for another type of residence permit.

Of those who took refuge in 2018, most came from Syria, followed by Palestinians and citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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