An asylum-seeker is a person whose request for sanctuary has yet to be processed. Every year, around one million people seek asylum.

National asylum systems are in place to determine who qualifies for international protection. However, during mass movements of refugees usually resulting from conflict or violence, it is not always possible or necessary to conduct individual interview with every asylum-seeker who crosses a border. These groups are often called “prima facie” refugees.

At UNHCR, we believe that everyone has a right to seek asylum from persecution and we do our best to protect those who need it.

At the end of 2019, there were approximately 4.2 million people around the world waiting for a decision on their asylum claims. For more information and the latest statistics, read our annual Asylum Trends report.

2,830 persons expressed the intention to seek asylum in the Republic of Serbia in 2020, a decrease relative to 2019. The majority were nationals of Iran, Iraq and Syria. Out of that number, 144 decided to start a formal asylum procedure and have filed an asylum application to the Asylum Office. As at the end of the year, 28 persons were granted international protection in the Republic of Serbia (16 refugee status, and 12 subsidiary protection).

For more information on asylum-seekers see, or our brochures on how to seek asylum in Serbia in English, Farsi & Arabic.