The national asylum procedures in the region differ in a number of ways, for example as
regards the steps involved in the asylum procedure and the grounds for granting or
refusing asylum. In Albania and Kosovo, asylum-seekers cannot express their intention
EPRS The Western Balkans – Frontline of the migrant crisis
to request protection prior to submitting a formal request. In BiH and Serbia, asylumseekers
can express such an intention, after which they are obliged to formally do so
within a determined timeframe. Recent changes have also made this possible in the
former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. However, the vast majority of refugees only spend a limited time in the Western Balkans and rarely submit asylum requests.