A record number of applications for protection were received by the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration last year. Eighty-two individuals were granted asylum or other protection in 2015, the largest group, or 17, being Syrians. Altogether, people of 26 nationalities were granted protection, as stated in a press release from the Directorate of Immigration.
Applications for protection in 2015 were 354, or twice as many as the two previous years. The largest group of applicants was from Albania, or 30 percent of the total. Ranking second were Syrians (29), followed by Iraqis (28), Macedonians (27), Afghans (22), Kosovars (15) and Iranians (13).
The composition of the group seeking asylum in Iceland differs from that of other European countries, where the bulk of the application comes from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and Afghanistan.
The largest group granted asylum was Syrians (17), not including the resettlement refugees invited by authorities. They were followed by Russians (8), Iranians (6), Nigerians (6) and Ukrainians (6).
Among the applications denied, most were from Albania (54), Macedonia (20) and Kosovo (5).