14 Aug 2017

Asylum seeker approvals double in a decade

2:38 pm on 14 August 2017

The number of successful asylum seekers has doubled over the last decade, according to new figures.

Chinese passport (generic)

One in five of successful applications last year were from China. Photo: 123RF

There were 95 more claims in the 2016/2017 year than the year before, taking the annual total to 434.

One in five of the 131 successful applications last year were from China, which has been in the top five countries of origin for asylum seekers for more than a decade.

Fiji was the next most common source country over the decade, followed by Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan.

On average, just over a quarter of the approximately 3000 applications - 834 in total - since 2007 have been successful.

India had the largest number of asylum seekers applying for refugee status in the 2015/16 year, but fewer than five were approved.

According to this year's OECD International Migration Outlook, New Zealand experienced an 11 percent increase in asylum seekers between 2015 and 2016

In the same period, new applications in Australia rose by 124 percent - from 15,000 to 27,000.

The full figures for New Zealand are here (PDF, 559KB).

The Refugee Status Branch statistics do not include the 750 refugees who enter the country as part of its annual UN quota, which will rise to 1000 next year.

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