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Cyprus 2nd in number of residence permits in EU as proportion of population

Cyprus issued 18,971 residence permits to non-EU citizens in 2017, of which 4,710 or 24.8% went to Indian citizens, 2,883 or 15.2% to Russians and 1,406 or 7.4% to citizens of Nepal, according to figures issued by Eurostat on Thursday.

This, it said, corresponds to 22.1 permits per 1,000 Cypriot citizens which is the second highest in the EU 28 after Malta.

A residence permit represents an authorisation issued by the competent authorities of a country allowing nationals of non-member (non-EU) countries (also known as third country nationals) to stay for at least three months on its territory.

Of these permits, 2741 or 14.4% were issued for family reasons, 4,923 or 26% for educational reasons, 8,204 or 43.2% for professional reasons and 3,103 or 16.4% for ‘other reasons’, Eurostat added.

EU-wide, about 3.1 million first residence permits were issued in the EU to non-EU citizens in 2017. The number increased almost by 4% (or 112,000) compared with 2016.

Employment reasons accounted for almost one-third (32%) of all first residence permits issued in the EU in 2017, family reasons for 26%, education reasons for 17%, and other reasons, including international protection, for 24%.

The increase in the total number of first residence permits in 2017 in comparison with 2016 was mainly due to the increasing number of first permits issued for employment reasons (up by 155,000, or 18%), family reasons (up by 49 000, or 6%) and education reasons (up by 30,000, or 6%), whereas the number of first permits issued for other reasons decreased by 123,000 (-14%).

Highest number of first residence permits issued in Poland, Germany and UK

In 2017, one out of five first residence permits was issued in Poland (683,000, or 22% of total permits issued in the EU), followed by Germany (535,000, or 17%), the United Kingdom (517,000, or 16%), France (250,000, or 8%), Spain (231,000, or 7%), Italy (187,000, or 6%) and Sweden (130,000, or 4%). Compared to the population of each Member State, the highest rates of first resident permits issued in 2017 were recorded in Malta (23 permits issued per thousand population), Cyprus (22), Poland (18), Sweden (13) and Luxembourg (12). For the EU as a whole in 2017, six  first residence permits were issued per thousand population.

For employment in Poland, for education in the United Kingdom

Poland (597,000 permits, or 59% of all permits issued for employment reasons in the EU in 2017) was the top country for employment related permits.

The United Kingdom (180,000 permits, or 34%) was the top country in the EU for education related reasons. With over 100,000 permits each, Germany (157,000, or 19%), Spain (126,000, or 15%), Italy (113,000, or 14%) and the United Kingdom (101,000, or 12%) were the four Member States with the highest number of permits issued for family reasons in 2017.

Germany was also the top country in the EU for other reasons with 277,000 permits (36%), issued in 2017, of which the majority were for refugee status and subsidiary protection (248,000) and protection for humanitarian reasons (21 000).

Employment reasons tend to prevail across individual Member States In 2017, in 11 Member States, the largest numbers of permits were issued for employment reasons, with the highest shares observed in Poland (87% of all residence permits issued in the Member State), Lithuania (74%), Croatia (72%) and Slovenia (62%). In ten Member States, the main reason for issuing residence permits was family related, with the highest shares being recorded in Italy (60% of all residence permits issued in the Member State), Spain (54%) and Belgium (51%).

Education was the main reason in Ireland (58% of all residence permits issued in the Member State), the United Kingdom (35%) and Romania (34%). Other reasons were predominant in four Member States: Austria (62% of all residence permits issued in the Member State), Germany (52%), Bulgaria (39%) and the Netherlands (32%).

Half of residence permits granted to seven citizenships

In 2017, citizens of Ukraine (662,000 beneficiaries, of which almost 88% in Poland) continued to receive the highest number of permits in the EU, ahead of citizens of Syria (223,000, of which almost two-thirds in Germany), China including Hong Kong (193,000, of which almost half in the United Kingdom), India (163,000, of which 44% in the United Kingdom) and the United States (147,000, of which over half in the United Kingdom), Morocco (108,000, of which 41% in Spain) and Afghanistan (87,000, of which around 61% in Germany). About half of all first residence permits issued in the EU in 2017 were issued to citizens of these seven countries.

Ukrainians for employment, Chinese for education and Moroccans for family reasons

The reasons for residence permits being issued differ between citizenships. Among the top 10 citizenships granted permits in the EU in 2017, Ukrainians benefited from residence permits mainly for employment reasons (88% of the first residence permits issued to Ukrainians in 2017), Chinese for education (65%), while Moroccans (67%) benefited from residence permits issued mainly for family reasons. Other reasons (and specifically refugee status, subsidiary protection and humanitarian status reasons) were predominant among Afghans (92%), Iraqis (75%) and Syrians (71%)

A residence permit represents an authorisation issued by the competent authorities of a country allowing nationals of non-member (non-EU) countries (also known as third country nationals) to stay for at least three months on its territory.

Data on residence permits are collected by the reasons for issuing such permits — the main reasons include: employment opportunities, family reunification and educational opportunities, while ‘other reasons’ encompass stays without the right to work or international protection.

The development of residence permits in individual EU Member States reflects the national migration systems’ diversity and the impact of European immigration policy. Other factors such as the characteristics of nationals of non-member countries, legal frameworks and the characteristics of countries involved in the immigration process — such as their geographical proximity or language ties — can also be important.

National administrative registers and databases are the main sources for these statistics, with the exception of the United Kingdom.

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