Over Half a Million Non-EU Citizens Found Illegally Living in EU in 2021, Eurostat Reveals

Over 1.2 million third countries’ nationals were subject to immigration law enforcement in 2021, with France being the leading country to report the majority of those cases and Syrians, Ukrainians, Algerians and Albanians being the top countries of origin, data from Eurostat shows.

According to the European Office for Statistics, a total of 681,200 non-EU citizens were found living illegally in one of the Member States throughout 2021, showing a 22 per cent increase compared to the previous year when 557,500 people were illegally staying in the bloc, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Furthermore, France reported the largest number of third countries’ nationals living in the country, recording a total of 215,200 of those, followed by Hungary (134,100) and Germany (120,300).

Syrian nationals were the main group of people found to be illegally present in the EU, as 79,800 of those were recorded, followed by Algerians (56,800) and Afghanis (52,800).

Algerians also represent the largest non-EU nationality ordered to leave the Member States, as 26,400 cases were recorded, followed by Albanians (22,000) and Moroccans (21,800).

As per the countries with the highest rates of immigration law enforcement cases of this matter recorded, France, again, leads the way with a total of 125,500 people being ordered to leave the country. Germany and Greece follow, with 31,500 and 28,800 cases, respectively.

Despite the rates, fewer foreigners were ordered to leave the bloc in 2021, as the rates dropped from 396,400 to 342,100, representing a 14 per cent decline.

Numbers of non-EU citizens refused entry to the 27-nation-bloc surged by one per cent in 2021, with a total of 139,000 of those being denied entry at external borders.

The largest number of refusals of entry were recorded in Hungary (34,700), Poland (24,200), Croatia (14,200) and Romania (11,000), while Ukrainian citizens accounted for the largest refusals (50,200). Albanians and Moldovans follow the list with 18,600 and 9,100 cases reported individually.

However, some 82,700 third countries’ nationals returned to another country in 2021, following an order to leave the territory of the EU Member State they were staying at. Once again, France reported the largest number of non-EU citizens returned in 2021 (14,400), followed by Germany (10,300) and Sweden (9,300).

Ukrainians and Albanians, with 9,400 each, led the list of non-EU citizens who returned to another country in 2021, followed by Georgians (5,400) and Pakistanis (3,200).

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