Of those 62,641 applications, 3,155 have been granted international protection and 39,803 have been granted an authorization to stay or reside in Spain for humanitarian reasons.

The improvement in the management of the OAR, despite the fact that the entry of requests for international protection has doubled compared to 2018 and tripled over those of 2017, has allowed to mark a turning point throughout the last months of this year , which implies a clear change of trend in the volume of files pending resolution.

Reinforcement measures

The impulse of the OAR was a priority of the acting Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, since he assumed the portfolio, aware of the human dimension of a phenomenon suffered by those who, as established by the Geneva Convention, due to well-founded fears If they are persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, belonging to a certain social group or political opinions, they are forced to leave their homes and their countries of origin in search of protection.

Under this commitment to international protection, the minister announced in July 2018 a reform of the Office after verifying that it was without sufficient human or technical resources to manage a number of requests that had multiplied by 12 since its creation in 1992.

The Government approved in July in the Council of Ministers a extraordinary public employment offer of 231 places to reinforce the OAR, which meant multiplying its workforce by five, going from 60 jobs with 291 public employees.

While this job offer is being completed, the Office has provided itself with interim officials to strengthen its operation, currently having more than 210 workers.

Management Improvements

Improvements have also been made in the quality of procedures and management, such as the new guard system for the border procedure established at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat Josep Tarradellas airports.

A new computer application is also being developed to facilitate and expedite the management of international protection files and resolutions, since the current one dates back to 1999. While this process is being completed, specific improvements have been made to the current computer system that they have made more agile operation possible.

Another aspect that has been worked on has been the improvement of the statistical information that is publicly disseminated from the Asylum and Refuge Office with the aim of providing greater transparency in its management. The OAR has been given greater visibility on the institutional website of the Ministry of Interior and from its specific section, both monthly and quarterly and annual reports are published. This initiative has led to the fact that during 2019 the number of inquiries to the Office's own space on the Interior website will be multiplied by five.

All these measures and the results obtained were presented this week by the acting Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, at the first World Forum on Refugees that took place in Geneva (Switzerland) under the impulse of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Increase in requests

With these measures, the Ministry of Interior has faced a significant increase in the requests for international protection that has been registered in Spain in recent years. While in 2012 the total number of international protection applications reached 2,588, in 2018 the requests were 55,749 and in 2019, with data as of November 30, the applications have reached 107,542. To these figures we must add the applications for the stateless status (1536) and the requests under the Dublin Regulation (11,605), which is also managed by the OAR.

As last year, in 2019 the main nationality of applicants for international protection in Spain is the Venezuelan, with 37,313 requests (data as of November 30). They are followed by citizens of Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador, which together with those from Venezuela account for almost 75 percent of applicants for international protection.

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