The latest data provided by the Directorate-General for Foreigners in France (DGEF) has revealed that in 2021, 270,925 first residence permits were issued, and a total of 370,569 including the British.

According to DGEF, compared to 2020, the issuance of first residence permits increased by 21.4 per cent in 2021,

The number of visas requested and issued in 2021 is up slightly (respectively + 12.9 per cent and + 2.9 per cent) compared to 2020, reflecting the still-present effects of the covid-19 pandemic crisis, which very strongly constrains migratory flows with the exception of long-stay visas, which in 2021 returned to the pre-crisis level,” notes a press release of the EU Commission regarding the statistics.

Such data also show that there has been an increase in the number of asylum applications and decisions taken in France in 2021 as well. According to statistics, there have been 104,381 first requests and 16,987 requests for reconsideration made at the one-stop asylum application desks (Guda). In addition, the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) registered 103,164 asylum applications, an increase of seven per cent compared to 2020.

The same source reveals that in 2021, 130,385 former thor-country nationals became new French citizens, thus marking an increase of 53.6 per cent compared to 2020.

The French Ministry of Interior has also shown the data regarding the census for 2020, stating that out of a total population of 67.3 million inhabitants in France, 5.1 million are foreigners living in the country.

Based on these data, a year before, in 2020, the French authorities issued the first residence permits for economic needs for about 26,466 foreigners. When comparing the 36,095 resident permits issued for such purposes in 2021, it means that the number has increased by +36.4 per cent.

In addition, for family reasons, France issued 76,017 residence permits in 2020, whereas in 2021, 12.9 per cent more, with a total of 85,844 residence permits issued that year.

Moreover, in 2020, 73,040 and 32,988 first residence permits were issued for student and humanitarian needs, respectively. The following year, France issued 87,694 residence permits for foreigners in connection to studies, which means an increase of +20.1 per cent.

As for humanitarian reasons, it issued 39,660 residence permits in 2021, an increase of +20.2 per cent compared to 2020.

The top countries the citizens of which have applied for a residence permit in France during 2021 are as follows:

  • Morocco with 35,192
  • Algeria with 25,783
  • Tunisia with 12,268
  • Ivory Coast with 11,362
  • China with 9,663
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