Cyprus issued a total of 20,999 first residence permits to non-EU citizens in 2018, which corresponds to 24.1 permits per 1000 Cypriot citizens- the second highest in the EU 28, according to figures published by Eurostat on Friday.
Of these, 3784 were issued to Indian nationals (18% of the total), 3,402 to Russian nationals (16.2%), and 2,087 to Syrian nationals (9.9%)
Nearly half — 9,771 or 46.6% were issued for professional reasons, while 3,346 permits (15.9%) were issued for family reasons, 3,339 for educational reasons (15.9%) and 4,534 (21.6%) for other reasons.
Eurostat said that in 2018, about 3.2 million first residence permits were issued in the European Union (EU) to non-EU citizens.
The number increased by 0.4% (or 13,000) compared with 2017, continuing the upward trend observed in each of the three previous years. Family reasons accounted for almost 28% of all first residence permits issued in the EU in 2018, employment reasons for 27%, education reasons for 20%, while other reasons, including international protection, accounted for 24%.
The increase in the total number of first residence permits in 2018 in comparison with 2017 was mainly due to the increasing number of first permits issued for education reasons (up by 110,000, or 21%) and family reasons (up by 83,000, or 10%), whereas the number of first permits issued for employment reasons decreased by 124,000 (-12%) and for other reasons by 56,000 (-7%).
Highest number of first residence permits issued in Poland, Germany and the United Kingdom
In 2018, one out of five first residence permits was issued in Poland (635,000, or 20% of total permits issued in the EU), followed by Germany (544,000, or 17%), the United Kingdom (451,000, or 14%), France (265,000, or 8%), Spain (260,000, also 8%), Italy (239,000, or 7%) and Sweden (125, 000, or 4%).
Compared to the population of each Member State, the highest rates of first resident permits issued in 2018 were recorded in Malta (35 permits issued per thousand population), Cyprus (24), Poland (17), Slovenia (14) and Luxembourg (13).
For the EU as a whole in 2018, 6 first residence permits were issued per thousand population.
For employment in Poland, for education in the United Kingdom
Poland with 328,000 permits (or 37% of all permits issued for employment reasons in the EU in 2018) was the top country for employment related permits. The United Kingdom with 190,000 permits (or 30%) was the top country in the EU for education related reasons. With 100,000 or more permits each, Germany (191,000, or 21%), Spain (134,000, or 15%), Italy (122,000, or 13%) and the United Kingdom (101,000, or 11%) were the four Member States with the highest number of permits issued for family reasons in 2018.
Germany was also the top country in the EU for other reasons with 219,000 permits (28%), issued in 2018, of which the majority were for refugee status and subsidiary protection (185,000) and protection for humanitarian reasons (23,000).
Employment reasons tend to prevail across individual Member States
In 2018, in thirteen Member States, the largest numbers of permits were issued for employment reasons, with the highest shares observed in Croatia (90% of all residence permits issued in this country), Lithuania (77%), Slovenia (71%) and Slovakia (66%).
In ten Member States, the main reason for issuing residence permits was family related, with the highest shares being recorded in Spain (52% of all residence permits issued in this country), Italy (51%) and Belgium (50%).
Education was the main reason in Ireland (60% of all residence permits issued in this country) and the United Kingdom (42%). The share of other reasons (including international protection) was highest in three Member States: Austria (54% of all residence permits issued in this country), Bulgaria (44%) and Germany (40%).
About half of residence permits granted to ten citizenships
In 2018, citizens of Ukraine (527,000 beneficiaries, of which almost 78% in Poland) continued to receive the highest number of permits in the EU, ahead of citizens of China (206,000, of which almost half in the United Kingdom), India (197,000, of which 38% in the United Kingdom), Syria (174,000, of which 71% in Germany), Belarus (138,000, of which 92% in Poland), Morocco (127,000, of which 45% in Spain), the United States (120,000, of which 36% in the United Kingdom), Brazil (88,000, of which 32% in Portugal), Turkey (80,000, of which 29% in Germany) and Russia (75,000, of which 18% in Germany). About half (54%) of all first residence permits issued in the EU in 2018 were issued to citizens of these ten 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 2018, Ukrainians benefited from residence permits mainly for employment reasons (65% of all first residence permits issued to Ukrainians in 2018), Chinese for education (67%), while Moroccans (61%) benefited from residence permits issued family reasons. Other reasons were predominant among Belarusians (74%) and Syrians (68%).