Residence permits for non-EU citizens EU Member States issued a record number of 2.6 million first residence permits in 2015 Main beneficiaries from Ukraine and the United States In 2015, 2.6 million first residence permits were issued in the European Union (EU) to non-EU citizens, a record number since the data collection began (2008) and up by 12.1% compared with 2014. This increase was mainly due to the higher number of first permits issued for employment reasons (+23.5%, from slightly less than 0.6 million in 2014 to more than 0.7 million last year). Accounting for 28.9% of all first residence permits issued in the EU in 2015, family remained the main reason of deliverance, followed by employment (27.2%), other reasons (23.8%) and education (20.2%)
These administrative data on residence permits in the EU are published in a report issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Almost a third of residence permits granted to citizens of Ukraine and the United States In 2015, citizens of Ukraine (500 000 beneficiaries, or 19.2% of the total number of first residence permits issued in the EU) continued to receive the highest number of permits, ahead of citizens of the United States (261 800, or 10.0%), China (167 100, or 6.4%), India (135 500, or 5.2%), Syria (104 100, or 4.0%) and Morocco (96 100, or 3.7%). Around half of all first residence permits issued in the EU in 2015 were issued to citizens of these six 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 2015, Ukrainians benefited from residence permits mainly for employment reasons (75.2% of the first residence permits issued to Ukrainians in 2015). Chinese (61.2%) and Brazilians (42.7%) were given residence permits mainly for education reasons, while Moroccans (70.5%) benefited from residence permits issued mainly for family reasons, as did Turks (50.4%).
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 half million Ukrainians granted residence permits in the EU in 2015, 86% were recorded in Poland (430 100). Of the 261 800 US citizens granted residence permits, more than three-quarters (77%) were registered in the United Kingdom, as were almost half (48%) of the 167 100 Chinese.