Cyprus issued the second highest number of first residence permits to non-EU citizens in the 27-member bloc in 2019, according to figures published by Eurostat on Friday.
The 23,325 permits issued are only a drop compared to the 3 million issued EU-wide.
But at 26 permits per 1,000 population they were the second highest relative to population after Malta, which topped the table with 42, and more than three times the EU 27 average. Poland was third with 19, followed by Slovenia (15) and Luxembourg (14).
Employment-related reasons accounted for 41 per cent of all first residence permits issued in the EU in 2019, family reasons for 27 per cent, education reasons for 14 per cent, while other reasons, including international protection, accounted for 18 per cent.
The breakdown for Cyprus from the total of 23,325 was: family 3,839, education 4,372, renumerated activity 10,686 and other 4,428.
The five largest citizenship groups receiving first residence permits in Cyprus were: India 4665 of whom 2,352 for education and 1,898 for work; Russia 3,114 of whom 1,107 for family reasons, 880 for work and 1,076 for other; Nepal 2,810, of whom 1,151 for education and 1,621 for work; Syrians 2,040 of whom 1,868 for other reasons and Philippines 1,958, of whom 1,765 for work.
In 2019, Poland issued a quarter of all first residence permits granted in the EU to non-EU citizens (724,000, or 25 per cent of total permits issued in the EU), followed by Germany (460,000, or 16 per cent), Spain (320, 000, or 11 per cent), France (285,000, or 10 per cent), Italy (176,000, or 6 per cent) and Czechia (117,000, or 4 per cent).
Poland topped the list of employment-related first residence permits, with 625,000 permits issued in 2019 (of which 551,000 were issued to Ukrainians), making up 52 per cent of all first permits for employment reasons issued in the EU.
France issued the most education-related permits (90,000 permits, or 23 per cent), ahead of Germany (61,000, or 15 per cent).
The Member States with the highest number of permits issued for family reasons in 2019 were Germany (167,000, or 21 per cent), Spain (144,000, or 18 per cent), Italy and France (respectively 101,000 and 98,000, or 12 per cent each). Germany was also the top country in the EU for other reasons with 166,000 permits (30 per cent) issued in 2019, of which the majority were for refugee status and subsidiary protection (90,000) and protection for humanitarian reasons (43 000).
Over one third of residence permits issued to citizens of Ukraine, Morocco and India
The largest citizenship group to receive first residence permits among all were the Ukrainians with 757,000. Almost four out of five of these permits were issued by Poland. Citizens of Morocco (133,000 permits, of which 47 per cent were issued in Spain) and India (131,000, of which 19 per cent in Germany) followed. Citizens of these countries accounted for over one-third (35 per cent) of all first residence permits issued in 2019.
Among the top 10 citizenships granted permits in the EU in 2019, employment was the main reason for permits issued to Ukrainians, accounting for 87 per cent of all first residence permits issued to Ukrainians in 2019, and Belarusians (58 per cent). Family was the prevailing reason for permits granted to Moroccans (59 per cent), and education for permits issued to Chinese (40 per cent) and citizens of the United States (37 per cent). Other reasons, namely refugee status and subsidiary protection, were predominant for Syrians (65 per cent).