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Although the majority of the news coverage given to the refugee and migrant crisis focuses on the perilous journeys they take to reach European shores, the fact is, for many of the more than 700,000 who have arrived by land and sea since the start of the 2015, surviving long enough to reach the EU is just the beginning.
What comes next is dealing with a maze of regulations — applications, interviews, rejections and appeals — mostly in languages they do not speak.
The flow of people leaving countries such as Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and elsewhere is described by United Nations agencies and humanitarian groups as mixed flow or mixed migration. This mixed group includes asylum seekers hoping to get refugee status as well as migrants — economic and otherwise — who have left their homes voluntarily or under duress for better lives or more security.
The demographics of those arriving at various European countries differ, depending on location. For instance, roughly 40 percent of those seeking asylum in Germany are from Kosovo, Albania and Serbia, whereas arrivals from those countries are a minority in other European countries.
According to the U.N. refugee agency, nearly 70 percent of migrants and asylum seekers reaching European shores are male, although when it comes to overall global migration patterns, women make up half of those who are on the move.
The following are profiles of migrants who have gone through the interview process to receive refugee or asylum status in Germany and Italy. Al Jazeera asked these men to recount the process of the interview and to recall their testimony.
Navigating the refugee application process can be harrowing and time consuming. The countries below are among the most popular points of entry into Europe or the most desired final destinations. Some crucial points in the process: