From Statistics Explained
Asylum applicant refers to a person having submitted an application for international protection or having been included in such application as a family member during the reference period.
In deciding when to regard an asylum application as having been lodged, the principles expressed in Article 4(1) of Council Regulation 2003/343/EC should be applied, i.e. 'An application for asylum shall be deemed to have been lodged once a form submitted by the applicant for asylum or a report prepared by the authorities has reached the competent authorities of the Member State concerned. Where an application is not made in writing, the time elapsing between the statement of intention and the preparation of a report should be as short as possible'. Applications submitted by persons who are subsequently found to be a subject of a Dublin procedure (Council Regulation 343/2003) are included in the number of asylum applications. Within the same reference period every person being a subject of asylum application is counted only once, therefore repeat applications are not recorded if the first application has been lodged in the same reference period. However, such a repeat application will be recorded if lodged in a different reference month. It means that the aggregation of the monthly figures may overestimate the number of persons applying for international protection within the aggregated period (quarter or year).
In some Member States repeat applications may be very rare due to restrictions of the asylum procedure (e.g. time limits for lodging repeat application). Therefore the number of new asylum applicants may equal or almost equal the number of asylum applicants. The number of asylum applicants and the number of first instance decisions during the same reference period differs. This is due to the time lag between the date of asylum application and the date of the decision on asylum application. The duration of this time lag may vary considerably depending on the national asylum procedure and the administrative workload. Asylum application lodged in one reference period may therefore result in a decision in a later period, while some asylum decisions reported for that period may relate to the applications lodged in previous reference periods.
New asylum applicant means a person having submitted an application for international protection for the first time. Applications submitted by persons who are subsequently found to be a subject of a Dublin procedure are included in the statistics on new asylum applicants if such persons are also a subject of first asylum application. All Member States are requested to supply these data but their provision is voluntary. As persons are counted once only, statistics on new asylum applicants may be used for preparation of annual aggregates.