Residents of Kosovo in January became the largest group to file applications for asylum in Austria. With 1,029 submitted requests, Kosovars exceeded Syrians who are fleeing the war in their country.

In January this year, a total of 910 Syrians applied for asylum in Austria. Afghans are third, with 622 applications, while Iraqis are fourth with 286 applications.

Last year, Syrians were the largest group of refugees seeking asylum in Austria, while second were Afghans, then Russians, and Kosovars were fourth.

In mid-January, Austrian Minister of Internal Affairs Johanna Mikl-Leitner demanded changes in procedures for deciding on applications for asylum. She emphasized that she wanted to introduce a rapid procedure for the settlement of claims of citizens coming from so-called “safe countries”, which include Kosovo.