Recent data released by Eurostat, EU’s statistics agency shows that Poland has issued almost one million first residence permits to immigrants from outside the European Union, in the last year. Indians are among the largest group of people to seek a temporary residence permit from Poland.

The numbers are the highest among all the EU member states and it is the fifth year in a row, that Poland has topped the list. This occurs as Poland faces a wave of unprecedented immigration.

The report shows that Poland issued over 967,345 permits in 2021, the highest annual figure ever. The figure was a third of all permits in the EU and more than twice as many as any other.

Spain recorded the next highest number at 371,778, with France at 285,190 and Germany at 185,213. Poland, relative to its population, issued the second most permits (25.6 per 1,000 population), behind only the island state of Malta (27.7) and just a little ahead of Cyprus (24.6).

Last year, the permit numbers returned to pre-pandemic levels, with 2,952,300 issues across the bloc, 31% more than in 2020 and only a little behind 2019, which saw 2,955,300 permits.

Every year, Poland has issues more first residence permits than any other member state, since 2017. Three years before that it was second only to the United Kingdom, which has since left the EU.

In 2021, Poland’s statistics regarding the reason for issuing permits differed from other high immigration countries. 82% were for employment, in comparison to 24% in Spain, 13% in France and 10% in Germany. The latter countries provide more permits for family or educational reasons.

In the past, the vast majority of Poland’s permits – 75.5% – issued in 2021 went to citizens of Ukraine, followed by Belarus (13.5%), Russia (2.4%), Turkey (1%) and India (0.8%).

Following Russian aggression on Ukraine, Ukrainians have been Poland’s largest immigrant group and the number has only grown rapidly. This year, millions of Ukrainians crossed into Poland while attempting to flee the war and over one million more are estimated to currently remain as refugees.

At the end of 2019, Poland’s statistical office, estimated that there were million of foreigners living in Poland, making up around 5%of the population and the figure is likely to have increased significantly since then.

The number of Belarusians arriving has also accelerated since 2020, when Alexander Lukashenko’s regime in Minsk began a clampdown following protests against his proclaimed re-election victory amid widespread evidence of vote-rigging.

Source: The Economics Times