In 2021, 827 000 persons managed to become an EU citizen in member states which they resided, an increase of almost 14% from 2020. In terms of total acquisitions, France (+43 900) French citizenships issued compared with 2020), Germany (+18 800), Spain (+17 700), Sweden (+9 200), and Austria (+7 200) had the highest gains.
85% of people who became EU citizens Member State were former residents of non-EU nations. The majority of them were Moroccan citizens, followed by those from Syria, Albania, Turkey, and Brazil. In this blog, we will look at the countries that granted the highest number of EU citizens in 2021.
Do Nations Now Grant Citizenship at A Higher Rate Than in The Past?
More people are receiving citizenship than in past years in the majority of nations. In 2021 compared to 2020, France awarded citizenship to an additional 43,900 people. Following Spain (an additional 17,700 citizenships) and Sweden (an additional 9,200 citizenships). Last were Austria (an additional 7,200), and Germany (18,800 additional citizenships) in terms of absolute growth, in 2021.
10 EU nations did, however, report a decline in the number of citizenships given. In comparison to 2020, Italy issued 10,300 fewer citizenships in 2021. Sweden issued the most citizenships in terms of local population, at 8.6 per 1000. It was closely followed by Luxembourg (7.8 per 100) and the Netherlands (3.6 per 1000).
Read: EU Citizenship Guide: Everything You Need to Know
Countries That Made The Highest EU Citizenships In 2021
When processing timeframes are taken into account, obtaining citizenship by residency in Spain can take 12 to 13 years. This is one of the longest times in Europe. The basic norm is that in order to apply for Spanish citizenship, you must have lived lawfully in Spain for ten years without taking any significant trips outside. Spain leads among countries with the highest number granting citizenship in 2021 than any other EU nation. The majority of those persons hail from Morocco. Brazilians were (15.7% of the total 20,400 naturalized) while Russians (7.8% of the total 17,300 naturalized). Additionally, Romanians (10.5 percent of the total 28,600 naturalized in Europe) were the other groups that also gained Spanish nationality. Also, Colombians (77.3% of the 10,800 naturalized individuals) and Ecuadorians (68.2% of the total 12,200 naturalized individuals).
According to fresh data made available by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), 131.600 foreigners acquired German citizenship in 2021. In comparison to 2020, this represents an increase of about 21.700 or 20%. In all, residents of 173 different nations acquired German citizenship in 2021. A quarter of the participants were EU residents from other nations. Syria, Turkey, Romania, Poland, and Italy had the highest percentage of citizenship applications from their respective nations.
However, the substantial jump in the number of Syrian nationals asking for German citizenship accounts for around half of the increase. In 2021, 19.100 Syrians became citizens, almost three times as many as in 2020. This is because of the significant influx of Syrian immigrants to Germany between 2014 and 2016, who are now more frequently fulfilling the requirements for naturalization, such as acquiring sufficient German language proficiency and residing in Germany for at least eight years, or six years after completing an integration program.
For example, 81 percent of Syrian nationals who became German citizens in 2021 met the standards for applying early. This indicates that the great majority of newcomers had completed these sorts of integrating procedures. The typical duration of stay is six and a half years.
The surge has been there for a long time and is solely believed to be associated with political stability, good economic status, and an education system. In Germany, foreigners are allowed to work and also register businesses without very strict procedures.
Formally, France is insensitive to differences in race, color, and religion. However, the debate on migration, particularly the illegal variety, is dominated by the politics of fear, with a particular emphasis on Muslims and Africans fleeing war, persecution, or difficult economic conditions at home.
Read: 7 Easiest Countries to Get Citizenship in 2023
According to official statistics, there were 733,069 visas issued in 2021, a 2.9% rise over the previous year. Due to a significant decline in overseas travel, this is still far less than the 3.5 million that were given prior to the epidemic.
However, the number of short-stay visas decreased (down 10% from 2020), while the number of long-stay visas rose (54%). Due to an “unprecedented influx of applications,” the “Brexit Withdrawal Agreement” visas given to UK citizens are not included in these data, according to France’s interior ministry. In 2021, 96,632 resident permits were issued as a result of pullout agreements.
Statistics Austria reports that there were 21.1% more naturalizations during the first nine months of 2021 than there were from January through September 2020 (6,336). But only 0.9% more than during the comparable period prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first three quarters of 2019 (7,610 naturalizations).
2 334 or 30.4% of individuals who became citizens in the first three quarters of 2021 were previously born in Austria, and more than half (52.3%) were female. Children under the age of 18 made up 31.7% of the population.
From January to September 2021, there were nearly universally more naturalizations than during the same period the year before, with the exception of Syria. The number of naturalizations increased in only four provinces (Carinthia, Burgenland, Tyrol, and Salzburg) compared to the first nine months of 2019, while it decreased in five provinces.
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Naturalizations decreased significantly in Vienna (-26.8% from 2019 to 2021) compared to before the COVID-19 epidemic, despite a 3.0% growth in this city between the first three quarters of 2020 and 2021. When comparing the first three quarters of 2019 and 2021, Styria exhibited the second-largest decline, at -21.5%, and there were also 9.7% fewer naturalizations here from January to September 2020.
In 2021, Sweden granted citizenship to at least 27,340 Syrians. A study from the Swedish Migration Agency states that throughout the year, 85,000 persons received citizenship. Additionally, at least 3,471 Eritreans and 4,067 Somalis were granted Swedish citizenship. A foreign national who has a work permit and a residence permit in Sweden is eligible for citizenship after five years.
The EU Citizen Privileges
New rights and opportunities come with becoming an EU citizen. The privilege most strongly associated with EU citizenship is the freedom to move and reside anywhere inside the EU. Modern technology and the ease of travel have made it possible for Europeans to broaden their horizons beyond their own countries’ borders, to travel across borders for pleasure, to work, study, train or start a business in other EU countries, as well as to come and go between them on a regular basis. Free mobility may lead to more social and cultural exchanges among EU citizens and stronger relationships between them. Additionally, as internal barriers are gradually removed, it may result in mutual economic benefits for businesses and consumers, including those who stay at home.
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