Romanian immigration authorities told InfoMigrants that many of them travelled the Balkan route through Romania. The country has experienced an increase in the number of migrants using it as a transit territory to reach Western European states,SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Authorities in Romania have also been struggling with a large number of irregular migrants. According to the figures provided by Romania’s General Inspectorate for Immigration, additional deportations last year included a total of 104 people from Sri Lanka, 88 from India, 58 from Moldova, 52 from Egypt, as well as 39 from Morocco, 32 from Vietnam and three from Syria.
Previously, officials in Romania sent legal notices to immigrants who had lost their legal status, often because they tried to reach Hungary in an irregular way. The notices asked them to return to their home countries. When people didn’t follow these instructions, Romanian law enforcement used their own escorts in order to carry out deportation orders.
According to the InfoMigrants report, many of the affected persons had initially reached Romania with valid work permit visas. All forcibly returned persons are subject to a five-year ban from reaching all EU countries, the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation from the time of expulsion under the Revised Code of Procedure on the Rights of Aliens in Romania.
Romania will become part of the Schengen Zone partially, by air and sea, starting in March this year. In spite of the fact that land border controls will continue to remain effective, once third-country nationals are in Romania and hold the right documents, they are eligible to leave the country without being subject to stricter controls compared to the countries outside the Schengen Zone.
The figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed that in 2022, the number of first asylum applicants increased by a total of 33 per cent, reaching about 12,000. The majority of applicants were citizens of Ukraine (4,400), India (1,500) and Bangladesh (1,400).
At the same time, (OECD) figures also revealed that in 2021, a total of 23,000 new immigrants obtained a residence permit longer than 12 months in Romania, 47.4 per cent more than in 2020.
Recently, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency showed that last year alone, a total of 380,000 detections of irregular border crossings were registered at the EU’s main migratory routes, thus accounting for the most significant increase since 2016.