Poland issued the European Union’s largest number of “first residence permits” to citizens from outside the bloc last year, the EU’s statistics agency has reported.
With a total of 683,000 such permits, Poland outdistanced Germany, which issued 535,000, and Britain, which granted 517,000, according to the Eurostat agency.
France issued 250,000 first residence permits, Spain granted 231,000 and Italy handed out 187,000 in 2017, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency has reported.
A total of 3.1 million first residence permits were issued to non-EU citizens throughout the 28-nation bloc in 2017, according to Eurostat.
Poland was the top EU destination for employment-related permits, the agency said.
Citizens of Ukraine received the largest number of first residence permits in the EU in 2017, at 662,000, almost 88 percent of them in Poland, Eurostat said.
A first residence permit is a residence permit issued to a person for the first time, according to the Eurostat's terminology.
“A residence permit is considered as a first permit also if the time gap between the expiry of the previous permit and the start of validity of the new permit is at least 6 months,” the agency explains.
Around 235,600 work permits were issued in Poland in 2017, nearly twice as many as the year before, a Polish newspaper reported last month.