The Vilnius Regional Administrative Court yesterday rejected an appeal by an Iraqi refugee family who arrived in the Lithuanian capital under the European Union’s refugee relocation programme in December 2015, the Lithuania Tribune reported.
The family had appealed against the Lithuanian Migration Department’s decision in February to grant them subsidiary (temporary) protection instead of full-fledged refugee status.
Refugee status grants permanent residency whereas subsidiary protection provides only temporary residence, which can be revoked once the situation in the country of origin improves.
“The asylum seekers failed to provide sufficient arguments regarding individual persecution directed directly against them and their minor children,” the court motivated its decision to dismiss the case in a press release. Judge Arūnas Kaminskas told reporters that the Migration Department had adequately assessed the family’s situation in Iraq, according to the Lithuania Tribune.
The family of four was the first that arrived in Lithuania under the EU relocation scheme, through which EU member states will take 160,000 refugees that are stranded in Greece and Italy by the end of 2017.
Under the EU programme there are no specific provisions about the exact status (refugee or subsidiary protection) relocated asylum seekers will need to be provided by host countries.