Two Syrian families arrive from Greece

Altogether 12 persons from Syria in need of international protection, including eight underage children, yesterday were brought to Latvia from Greece under the EU-wide refugee relocation scheme, the Latvian Citizenship and Migration Office said October 4.

The two Syrian families relocated to Latvia from Greece have now been placed in the asylum seeker center at Mucenieki near Riga. There is a carpenter and a veterinarian among the relocated adults. The asylum seekers have stated in their applications that they speak Arabic and Kurmanji.

In accordance with the international procedures and the Latvian Asylum Law, asylum requests have to be submitted immediately upon arrival. Representatives of the Latvian National Border Guard will also explain the procedures to the asylum seekers and prepare documentation for the Latvian Citizenship and Migration Office to decide on giving them a refugee or an alternative status.

So far Latvia has admitted 94 people under the EU-wide refugee relocation and resettlement scheme. Of these, 37 have already been granted either refugee of alternative status – five have been given the refugee status and 32 received the alternative status valid for one year.

LTV reported in early September that out of the 23 asylum seekers, who had been relocated to Latvia as part of the EU refugee relocation program and granted asylum, 21 people had already left Latvia and were now in Germany.

In 2015 Latvia committed to taking in 531 asylum seekers in two years. While most of them will be relocated from EU member states Greece and Italy, 50 people have to be resettled from third countries, such as Turkey.

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