EU grants fewer residence permits, new data reveals

by Ray Clancy on September 6, 2011

Fewer EU visas being issued nowadays

Fewer people from outside the European Union are being granted permission to live in member countries and those who do are moving mostly for family reasons, for work and for education, new figures reveal.

The latest bulletin from the EU shows that 2.3 million people were granted an authorisation to reside in the EU, a fall of 200,000 compared to 2008.

The highest number of new residence permits, 660,000, 28.2%, was granted for reasons related to family. Also 646,000, 27.6% were for employment, and 510,000, 21.8% for education.

Compared with 2008, the number of new permits issued for employment, which was the main reason in 2008, fell by 142,000. In addition, the number of permits issued for family reasons fell between 2008 and 2009, but to a lesser extent, by 26,000, while permits for education increased by 53,000.

The EU Member State that granted the largest number of permits was the UK at 671,000, followed by Italy with 507,000, Spain 291,000 and France 193,000. Compared to the size of the resident population, however, the highest relative number of permits was issued by Cyprus with 32 permits for every 1,000 residents.

Indians, US citizens, Chinese and Moroccans were the main groups of non-EU citizens who received new permits. They accounted for almost 30% of all new permits issued in the EU in 2009.

Indians received 191,000 permits, Americans 175,000, Chinese 171,000 and Moroccans 158,000. The highest number of permits for family reasons was granted to Moroccans with 78,000, while the highest number of permits related to education was granted to Chinese with 7,000 and the highest number of permits for employment purposes to Indians at 65,000.

The largest numbers of permits for family reasons were granted in Spain, followed by the UK and France. Family reunification and formation was the main reason for issuing residence permits in almost half, 12 out of 26, of the member states for which data are available. In particular, in Austria and Greece they accounted for more than half of all new permits issued.

The vast majority of permits for education were issued by the UK at 269,000, representing 52.7 % of all new permits for education in the EU in 2009. Among all permits granted by the UK, those for education represented the relative majority at 40%. This was true also for Denmark at 53.7 %, Ireland at 48.1 % and Bulgaria at 37%.

Italy granted the most permits for employment at 236,000 or 36.5%, followed by the UK at 18.1% and Spain at 15.9 %. Permits for employment represented the largest share of all permits issued in the Czech Republic, Italy, Cyprus, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. In particular, they represented more than 50 % of all new permits issued by Cyprus and Lithuania, and more than 75 % of those issued by Slovenia.

Other reasons for permits included international protection, residence without the right to work, for example pensioners, diplomatic duties, and people in the intermediate stages of a regularization process.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave September 21, 2011 at 2:06 am

"those who do [move to the EU] are moving mostly for family reasons, for work and for education, new figures reveal."

Just what we do not want. Family immigration is an exponential expansion of non-native populations. This would be fine if we had only allowed millionaire entrepreneurs to come to Europe (mainly the UK). But we opened the door to third world peasants.

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roxy September 22, 2011 at 8:35 am

third worl peasants?? and if it was you to be born in one of those country "third world countries" would you not want opportunity to live life as it should be lived ? instead of seeing your family members dying inf ront of you becasue there is NOT WATER ?
how immoral and narrow minded people can be ?? oh yes let s only come to our nations only the richest , the most corrupted , the greedy ..the one that dont give a damn about the others .. let s look at people based on what they earn ?? i wonder why hav e i dont to live in this century … i would have preferred the medioeval..at least then we werent "civilised"

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