Recently, the State Agency for Refugee (SAR) and the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior (MoI) stated in a report that already thousands of people had left Bulgaria, this year. In January 2017, more than 2210 migrants had already left the country and in February 903 people were reported to be ‚disappeared‘. In March more than 400 people left Bulgaria. By the end of February, Bulgarian authorities stopped 1022 migrants at the Bulgarian-Serbian border. For 2016, the SAR granted a lot less the refugee status for asylum seekers than 2015. Nevertheless, the applications for asylum in 2016 were only 5% less than 2016. Until the end of January 2017, the SAR recorded 421 new asylum applications.
By the end of March Bulgaria’s Interim government suspended the possibility for accepted refugees with a status to get health insurance, public unemployment insurance or housing benefit. The trend outlined above might go on at the moment. A spokesperson of the Serbian Defence Ministry announced recently that there is more “migrant pressure“ in the last days from Bulgaria and Macedonia. The institution registered more attempts of crossing the Serbian border ‚illegally‘ from both countries. Bordermonitoring Bulgaria (BMB) predicts that, if the conditions for migrants and refugees won’t get better in Bulgaria, such a trend will definitely go on in the near future.
Update: Meanwhile the UNHCR Serbia reported about a collective deportation, of 25 Afghan migrants (mainly families), from Serbia back to Bulgaria in February.