In 2016, about 3.4 million first residence permits were issued in the European Union (EU) to non-EU citizens, a record number since comparable data are available (2008) and up by 28% (or nearly 735,000 residence permits) compared with 2015. This increase was mainly due to the larger number of first permits issued for ‘other reasons’ (+64%) as well as for employment reasons (+21%). Employment reasons accounted for a quarter (25.4%) of all first residence permits issued in the EU in 2016, family for 23.2% and education for 20.7%, while other reasons, including international protection and humanitarian status (about 14% of all first permits issued in 2016), represented 30.7%.
In 2016, one out of four first permits was issued in the United Kingdom (865,900 residence permits issued, or 25.8% of total permits issued in the EU). It was followed by Poland (586 000, or 17.5%), Germany (504,800, or 15.0%), France (235,000, or 7.0%), Italy (222,400, or 6.6%), Spain (211,500, or 6.3%) and Sweden (146,700, or 4.4%).
Compared to the population of each Member State, the highest rates of first resident permits issued in 2016 were recorded in Malta (20.6 first residence permits issued per thousand inhabitants), Cyprus (19.9), Poland (15.4) Sweden (14.8) and the United Kingdom (13.2).
For the EU as a whole in 2016, 6.5 first residence permits were issued per thousand inhabitants. Cyprus residence permits Of the 16,970 residence permits issued in Cyprus, 2,332 (13.7%) were issues for family reasons, 3,313 (19.5%) were issued for education reasons, 7,385 (43.5%) were issued for employment reasons and the remaining 3,940 (23.2%) were issued for other reasons. The three main citizenship to be granted resident permits in Cyprus were Indians 3,072, Russians 2,377 and Syrians 1,796.