10th May 2021

Quarter of a million Ukrainians came to EU last year

  • Over 230,000 EU resident permits were issued to Ukrainians in 2013 (Photo: Marco Fieber)

Ukrainians obtained more EU first residence permits last year than any other nationality, according to the EU’s statistical office, Eurostat.

A first residence permit means it has been issued to the person for the first time. The permits are valid for at least three months and can be issued for reasons like education, employment, or family ties.

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The figures, published on Wednesday (22 October), show 2.3 million new residency permits were issued in all 28 member states in 2013.

Of those, some 236,700 permits were given to Ukrainians. Most went to Poland.

After Ukraine, the second and third highest numbers of permits were issued to people from India (200,800) and the United States (171,800). Russians also top the list at 73,107.

The main reasons for issuing the permits differ.

Most Ukrainians obtained the permits for work (64%).

People from the US and India primarily came for "other reasons" at 40 percent and 41.6 percent, respectively.

The "other reasons" category includes, for example, pensioners with sufficient financial means, victims of human trafficking, or arriving diplomats. The vast majority of these two nationalities went to the United Kingdom.

The UK was also the most generous.

Britain issued more residency permits (724,200 or 30.7% of total) than any other member state. Poland is next at 11.6 percent, followed by Italy (10.3%) and France (9%).

Most of the UK permits were issued to people coming for education, while Italy and France were primarily for family reasons.

But when compared with the population of each member state, Malta comes out on top as having the highest rate of first residence permits, followed by Cyprus, then the UK.

At the bottom is Romania, followed by Croatia and Slovakia/Bulgaria.

The main beneficiaries of residency permits in Malta are from Libya, while in Cyprus they are primarily from the Philippines and from Russia.

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