Asylum applications and refugees in Malaysia

17,765 asylum applications by refugees were received in 2021 in Malaysia — according to UNHCR. Most of them came from Myanmar, Pakistan and from Afghanistan. A total of 3,364 decisions have been made on initial applications. Around 99% of them were answered positively. 1 percent of asylum applications have been rejected in the first instance. The most successful have been the applications of refugees from Myanmar and from Afghanistan.

In a second table below you can find the refugees who fled from Malaysia and made their asylum application to other countries.

Refugee countries by origin and destination

Back to overview: Malaysia

Incoming asylum applications in Malaysia 2000 to 2021

The top line represents the total number of asylum applications (first applications + reviews). Below are the number of recognized refugees (green) and rejected applications (red).

Asylum applications from foreign refugees in Malaysia

The total number of initial and continuing applications refers to the year 2021. Please note that the number of decisions (acceptances or rejections) does not have to add up with the number of applications because there may still have been open cases from previous years. Also, they don't have to be closed within the same calendar year. In addition, asylum procedures can also be closed, if the applicant disappeared or withdrew the application.

New Applications

Myanmar16,7871,7520100.0 %
Pakistan4735561198.1 %
Afghanistan2442450100.0 %
Somalia1154441097.8 %
Sri Lanka4651722.7 %
Iran2022581.5 %
Yemen181050100.0 %
Sudan12180100.0 %
South Sudan1150100.0 %
Cameroon950100.0 %
Indonesia850100.0 %
Eritrea6160100.0 %
Syria6800100.0 %
Egypt550100.0 %
Iraq5190100.0 %
Congo (Dem. Republic)050100.0 %
Palestine0290100.0 %
Nigeria0050.0 %
Sierra Leone000
Totals17,7653,3164898.6 %


Myanmar5911090.1 %
Pakistan0382263.3 %
Afghanistan0161257.1 %
Somalia0100100.0 %
Sri Lanka65706.7 %
Iran05550.0 %
Sudan050100.0 %
South Sudan000
Congo (Dem. Republic)050100.0 %
Sierra Leone5050.0 %
Totals1617512458.5 %

Asylum applications of refugees from Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the countries where refugees are not only coming in. In the year 2021, there have been 2,291 asylum applications received from citizens from Malaysia in other countries. The most successful have been the applications in France and in the Netherlands.

New Applications

Australia2,149603,7471.6 %
United Kingdom93253839.7 %
United States1552417.2 %
New Zealand1152317.9 %
Netherlands1050100.0 %
Canada80140.0 %
France550100.0 %
Germany0050.0 %
Ireland00130.0 %
South Korea003750.0 %
Sweden0050.0 %
Totals2,2911054,2442.4 %


Australia3,857359493.6 %
United Kingdom330110.0 %
United States2300
New Zealand000
Canada6050.0 %
Ireland650100.0 %
South Korea000
Sweden5050.0 %
Totals3,945409704.0 %

National migrant stock from 1960 to 2020

In 2020 a total of 3,476,560 migrants lived in Malaysia, representing about 5 percent of the total population. These are all residents who live permanently in the country but were born in another country. The numbers includes granted refugees but no asylum seekers. The data are based on the results of censuses, as well as on estimates and projections from the United Nations Population Division. (Values of the graph in millions of immigrants)

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