Lithuania's Migration Department will finish processing applications from all asylum seekers who have crossed into Lithuania this year by November, according to the agency's director.
“We are now fully focusing on processing [asylum applications] and the plan is to do that by November, if not all of them, then to process the maximum possible number of asylum requests,” Evelina Gudzinskaitė told BNS on Monday.
The Migration Department can process several dozen requests a week, Gudzinskaitė said, adding that around 60 people are working on them.
“We have sufficient capacity right now, but [...] we have many new staff members and we needed to invest time to train them, and the biggest part of this challenge is to fully enable them,” the director of the Migration Department said.
Over 4,100 irregular migrants have crossed into Lithuania from Belarus so far this year. Around 2,800 have requested asylum.
Migration authorities have so far processed over 600 applications, with no migrants being granted asylum so far – 320 requests have been rejected and another 325 had their asylum procedures discontinued.
According to Gudzinskaitė, this can happen when asylum seekers flee the country or return to their country of origin.