More than 3.6 million first residence permits were issued in the European Union to nationals of non-member countries last year, with Germany granting Turks the most permits compared to other countries, the Kronos news website reported on Wednesday, citing the latest data from Eurostat.
A residence permit is an authorization issued by the competent national authority allowing the national of a non-EU country, also known as a third country national, to stay for at least three months on its territory.
The number of people obtaining residence permits from EU countries increased by 25.7 percent, corresponding to an additional 753,445 permits, in 2022, compared to data from a year earlier, a record high since 2009, Kronos said.
According to Eurostat data, more than 1.5 million first residence permits were issued for employment-related reasons, which was the highest absolute number compared to the remaining categories, representing 42.5 percent of all first residence permits issued in 2022. Family-related reasons constituted 24 percent, educational purposes accounted for 12.7 percent and the remaining 20.8 percent were attributed to other factors, including international protection.
The data also showed that among the EU member states, Germany topped the list of first residence permits granted to non-EU citizens, issuing 538,690 permits. This figure makes up 14.6 percent of total permits issued in the EU. The country also saw the largest relative increase in the total number of first permits issued last year when compared with 2021, which was 190.3 percent.
Leading in the number of permits granted, Germany was followed by Spain with 457,412 permits (12.4 percent), Italy with 337,788 (9.2 percent), and France with 324,200 (8.8 percent). The four countries accounted for almost 45 percent of all first residence permits issued in the EU in 2022, according to Eurostat.
The data also revealed that Germany issued the highest number of residence permits to Turks last year, totaling 31,487. The country was followed by the Netherlands with 12,542, France with 7,730, Romania with 4,718 and Bulgaria with 4,205.
Thousands of people had to flee Turkey in the aftermath of a coup attempt in July 2016, following which Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) launched a widespread crackdown on non-loyalist citizens under the pretext of an anti-coup fight. These people, some of whom had to flee the country illegally by way of the Aegean Sea or Evros River land border because their passports had been canceled under the state of emergency measures taken by the government, applied for asylum in Europe and other countries.