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Posted on August 10 2022

New EU residence permits rose to approach pre-pandemic levels in 2021

By  Editor
Updated January 18 2024

Highlights of New EU, residence permits:

  • The count of EU residence permits rose to 2,952,300 in 2021.
  • Poland led in of immigration of international professionals.
  • France witnessed the immigration of students.

Abstract: The number of residence permits granted in the EU reached the levels of pre-pandemic times.

The figures for first residence permits for EU or European Union for non-EU residents almost matched the number of the same kind of permits issued in the pre-pandemic times. Poland and France led in the immigration of international professionals and students, respectively.

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Increase in EU Residence Permits

The count of permits rose by 31 percent in 2021 compared to 2019. The comparative data for the number of residence permits issued after the pandemic started is given below.

First Residence Permit for EU
Year Figures (in millions)
2021 2,952,300
2020 2,799,300
2019 2,955,300


The increase was led by education and employment. The number of permits issued due to employment was 1.3 million. Poland issued the most number of permits for international professionals.  It was followed by France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands.


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The six countries, members of the EU issued approximately three-fourths of the total number of permits authorized in 2021.

France welcomed more international students and granted 90,600 first residence permits. Study in France is increasingly becoming popular among students wanting to study abroad.

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