Germany remains the main country among the 27 European Union Member states granting first residence permit to those wishing to join their family members in the German territory.

With exactly 167,443 first residence permits issued for family reasons in 2019, Germany tops the table for most residence permits issued in this regard, followed by Spain with 143,860 first family residence permits issued and Italy with 100,939.

The most recent report of the European Union’s statistical office, the Eurostat, shows that in 2019 alone, the 27 EU member states granted in total 3 million first residence permits to third-country nationals.

According to the same report, Germany is listed as the second country with the most first residence permits issued, a total of 460,340 – 36,4 per cent of which were issued for family reasons.

Germany (167,000), Spain (144,000), Italy (101,000) and France (98,000) were the EU Member States with the highest number of first residence permits issued in 2019 for family-related reasons; these four countries accounted for 63.0 per cent of the EU-27 total,” the report notes, rounding the numbers

At the same time, it points out that family-related reasons were the most common reasons for issuing residence permits in 11 of the Member States, while in Italy and Belgium family-related reasons accounted for more than half of all the permits issued at a national level.

The report notes that one of the factors that have influenced the high number of third-country citizens applying for a residence permit in Germany, is the established migrant networks, like the high number of Turkish citizens applying for residence in Germany, due to a wide Turkish community established in the country.

When it comes to nationality, the largest national groups receiving a German first residence permit, for whichever purpose, are as follows:

  • Syria – 63,067 (13.7)
  • Turkey – 27,212 (5.9)
  • India – 25,497 (5.5)
  • Afghanistan – 25,297 (5.5)
  • Kosovo 22,128 (4.8)
  • Others – 297,139 (64.5)

According to data published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), there were 21.2 million people in Germany with a migrant background, in 2019, representing 26 per cent of the population in Germany. In the previous year, 2018, were 20.8 million people of the same background were living in the country, which person or at least one of their parents did not acquire German citizenship by birth.

While the number of people who moved to Germany within the same year remains high, Destatis notes that the 2.1 per cent increase was the lowest percentage increase since 2011.