Migrants hoping to apply for asylum in Hungary reportedly face even more obstacles than before, thanks to policies implemented amid the coronavirus crisis.
Prospective refugees must now file initial screening applications at embassies in either Kiev, Ukraine, or Belgrade, Serbia, and no longer at the Hungarian border, according to reports.
Previously, migrants could apply for asylum in ‘transit zones’ at the border, but Budapest swiftly closed those holding centers in May after the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that policy constituted illegal “detention.”
A ‘declaration of intent’ must be reviewed by immigration officials before a migrant is allowed to advance further in the process.
The new rules, which were implemented in May, were later rolled into an omnibus law during the summer, according to Trouw.
“Officially, the regulation expires at the end of this year, but we fear that they will be able to remove the deadline before then,” said András Lederer of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which provides legal support to migrants.
A total of seven asylum declarations were filed in Belgrade between June and the end of July, the Hungarian foreign ministry told AFP.
“The government has practically got rid of all the asylum seekers,” said Erno Simon, a United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) spokesman.
Simon asserts it is now virtually impossible for a migrant to turn up at Hungary’s border and claim asylum.
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