UK issues the most residence cards

Students at a British university with caps and gowns
Studying at British universities was one of the main reasons for non-EU citizens to come the UK

Britain was the EU country which issued the most residence cards to non-European new arrivals last year, with many of them going to students.

Numbers of cards (allowing stays of at least three months) issued in the EU rose by almost a third in 2016 compared to 2015 and a quarter of them (866,000) were issued by the UK.

However 42% of these were issued to students going to study in Britain and only 13.5% of recipients there to work, the latest figures show. The biggest demand came from the USA (21%), India (14%) and China (11%).

Poland issued the second-highest number of cards, but there almost all of the people came to work.

France was in fourth place, after Germany (where 44% of permits went to Syrians), with 40% coming for family reasons, 31% for education and under 10% for work.

The main countries of origin for France were Algeria (12.2%), Morocco (11.6%) and China (6.9%).

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