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Permanent residence permits 2020 – Poland accepted the largest number of foreigners / migrants from outside the European Union – data from Eurostat

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In 2020, Poland admitted the largest number of foreigners from outside the European Union among all Community countries – according to the data of the European statistical office Eurostat. Also in 2019, our country was the EU leader in this respect. Last year, more than 598,000 so-called first residence permits were issued on the Vistula River, most of which were issued to Ukrainian citizens.

In 2020, citizens of countries outside the European Union were issued about 2.2 million first permits to stay in the Community – they are granted to people who come to a given country for the first time. This represents a decrease of 24 percent or 706,000 compared to 2019.


Eurostat points out that this is how the upward trend that started in 2013 ended. The statistical office reported that the most permits were issued for the purpose of taking up employment – 40%, family reasons constituted 28%, education – 11%. In addition, 21 percent of permits were issued for other reasons, including regarding refugee status or subsidiary protection.

Subsidiary protection is a type of residence permit granted to foreigners who did not receive refugee status and would be faced with real death penalty, execution, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment, and a serious threat to life or health resulting from the widespread use of violence against foreigners. the civilian population in the event of an internal or international armed conflict.

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Poland issued the most permits

Eurostat data shows that in 2020 Poland spent 26 percent. of all first permits – a total of 598,000 Germany was in second place – 313 thousand. (14 percent). Spain was in third place – 312 thousand. (14 percent).

Poland issued the largest number of residence permits in order to work – 502 thousand. That accounted for 22 percent of all permits. Most permits for education were issued by France (almost 73 thousand – 3% of all), for family reasons – Germany (almost 131 thousand – 6%), Spain (119.5 thousand – 5%) and France (80 thousand – 4 percent). Germany was also the leader in terms of permits for other reasons (153,000 – 7%).

Who received the most permits?

Eurostat data shows that 601,000 Ukrainian citizens received the first residence permits in the EU Member States in 2020, of which 81 percent. permits were issued by Poland.

In the second place were Moroccan citizens who received 123,000 permits, of which 56 percent. issued in Spain. About 79 thousand permits were granted to Indian citizens, of which 14 percent. issued in Germany. Citizens of the above-mentioned countries received over one-third, 36%, of all first residence permits issued in 2020.

The main reason for issuing permits to Ukrainians was to start work – 86 percent. cases. More than half, because 60 percent. For this reason, permits were also issued to Belarusians. In turn, family reasons were the main reason for issuing permits to Moroccans – 53 percent, and education to the Chinese – 36 percent. Other reasons prevailed among Venezuelans (78%) and Syrians (70%), Eurostat reported.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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