Last year, EU countries issued three million residence permits to non-EU citizens. One-third of this was for people from Ukraine, Morocco and India who came to live in the EU to work, study or join the family.
Since 2013, the number of residence permits issued in the EU has been growing steadily. In 2019, this was an increase of 6 percent, or 163,000 people, compared to the previous year, the European statistics office reports.
On average, 41 percent of all residence permits in the EU were related to work and 27 percent to family.
With a quarter of all residence permits issued by the EU countries in 2019, Poland led the way. The vast majority there, 551,000 of the 625,000 residence permits, were for Ukrainians who moved to their neighbouring country for work.
Germany, Spain, France and Italy issued the most residence permits, but on a per capita basis, Malta and Cyprus were the front runners.
Germany took in many refugees, mainly Syrian ones, while in France, a quarter of them were students.