The pandemic has reduced the number of registered immigrants in Brazil by around 50% in 2020. According to data released on Tuesday (22) by the Ministry of Justice and OBMigra (Observatory for International Migration), the number of applications of residence per part of foreigners increased from 181,556 in 2019 to 92,521 in 2020.
The fall halted the steady uptick in this data that had been occurring since 2015. “The borders were closed for most of last year. Some people continued to come, but not in the same volume as before, ”explains Tadeu Oliveira, OBMigra statistical coordinator.
Of the approximately 92,000 registered last year, 70% are from Venezuela or Haiti. The data includes people who applied for temporary residence, permanent residence and border residents, but does not cover those who requested refuge or those who entered Brazil illegally.
The atypical year was also reflected in the entry points of these immigrants to Brazil. For the first time, Manaus overtook São Paulo as the second city with more registrations (12,600 against 12,000). Boa Vista, with 138,000, continued in first place, as in previous years, due to the strong flow of Venezuelans arriving at the border with Roraima.
The researchers’ hypothesis is that the suspension of flights through Guarulhos airport, where many immigrants arrived until 2019, had an impact in this proportion.
The report also showed a sharp drop in movements to and from Brazil (67.8% less than in 2019), with short-haul travel predominating. Besides the Brazilians themselves, Argentines (1.9 million movements), Americans (318,000), Chileans (288,000), Paraguayans (278,000 and Uruguayans (251,000) were the most common nationalities. .
Nearly 60,000 refugees
The Ministry of Justice and OBMigra also released a specific report on the situation of refugees in Brazil last year on Tuesday. According to data, at the end of 2020 there were 57,099 recognized refugees in Brazil.
More than 90% of recognitions have been awarded in the last decade, and 94.8% of these come from people from three countries: Venezuela, Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In order for a person to be considered a refugee, they must prove that they are the victim of persecution, conflict or widespread human rights violations in their country of origin.
The number of asylum claims last year was 29,000, 20 times more than at the start of the decade (1,465). Still, it is much lower than the 2019 figure (82,552), which shows that the pandemic has also affected the arrival of people with this profile.
Asylum seekers came from 113 countries last year, but the majority (60%) were Venezuelans, followed by Haitians (22.9%) and Cubans (4.7%).
Of the 63,790 asylum requests analyzed by the Conare (National Committee for Refugees) in 2020, 41.7% were recognized. Most are men (62.3%) aged 25 to 39.
As in the case of migration cases, the North region was also the region that received the most asylum applications last year (75.5% of the total), with Roraima leading (59.9%) , followed by the state of Amazonas (10, 1%).