The FINANCIAL — In 2014, 2.3 million first residence permits were issued in the European Union (EU) to non-EU citizens, a number slightly lower than in 2013 (-2.2%) and down by 9.0% compared with 2008. The decrease recorded from 2008 is mainly due to a fall in the number of first permits issued for employment reasons (from 0.8 million in 2008 to nearly 0.6 million last year). In 2014, almost a third (29.5%) of first residence permits were issued in the EU for family reasons, a quarter each for employment (24.8%) and other reasons (25.0%) and a fifth (20.7%) for education.
Half of first residence permits issued in the United Kingdom, Poland and Germany
In 2014, one first residence permit out of four was issued in the United Kingdom (567 800 residence permits issued, or 24.6% of total permits issued in the EU). It was followed at a distance by Poland (355 400, or 15.4%), Germany (237 600, or 10.3%), France (218 300, or 9.5%), Italy (204 300, or 8.9%) and Spain (188 600, or 8.2%). Together, these six Member States accounted for around three quarters of all first residence permits issued in the EU in 2014.
Compared with the population of each Member State, the highest rates of first resident permits issued in 2014 were recorded in Malta (23.2 first residence permits issued per thousand population), Cyprus (16.2), Sweden (11.1), Poland (9.4) and the United Kingdom (8.8). In 2014, 4.5 first residence permits were issued per thousand population in the EU.
For employment in Poland, for education in the United Kingdom
Poland (206 200 permits) was by far the first destination for employment permits, while the United Kingdom (177 200 permits) was the primary destination in the EU for education related reasons. With around 100 000 permits each, Italy and Spain were the two Member States with the highest number of permits issued for family reasons in 2014. They were closely followed by the United Kingdom (96 500), France (92 100) and Germany (91 700).
Family reasons prevail across Member States
In sixteen Member States, the largest numbers of permits were issued for family reasons, with the highest shares observed in Croatia and Austria (both 57.8% of all residence permits issued in the Member State), Luxembourg (57.6%), Greece (56.3%), Spain (53.5%), Belgium (52.7%) and Slovenia (51.6%). Education was the main reason in Ireland (64.6% of all residence permits issued in the Member State), Romania (34.3%) and Malta (29.6%). In six Member States, the main reason for issuing residence permits was employment, the highest shares being recorded in Lithuania (66.2% of all residence permits issued in the Member State), Poland (58.0%) and Cyprus (57.7%).
Ukraine, United States, China and India: 4 citizenships granted the most residence permits
In 2014, citizens of Ukraine (302 800 beneficiaries, or 13.1% of the total number of new residence permits issued in the EU) continued to receive the highest number of permits, ahead of citizens of the United States (199 200, or 8.6%), China (169 700, or 7.4%) and India (134 900, or 5.8%). A third of all new residence permits issued in the EU in 2014 were issued to citizens of these four 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 2014, Ukrainians benefited from residence permits mainly for employment reasons (68.2% of the first residence permits issued to Ukrainians in 2014), as did Indians (40.5%). Chinese (59.4%) and Brazilians (46.4%) were given residence permits mainly for education reasons, while Moroccans (66.8%), Turks (48.6%) and Russians (34.8%) benefited from residence permits mainly for family reasons.
Ukrainians received permits mainly in Poland, US and Chinese citizens in the United Kingdom
Certain citizenships were granted residence permits predominantly by particular Member States. Of the 302 800 Ukrainians granted residence permits in the EU in 2014, more than 80% were recorded in Poland (247 400). Of the 199 200 US citizens granted residence permits, almost 70% were registered in the United Kingdom, as were almost 45% of the 169 700 Chinese.