Until 2017, EU Member-states had granted citizenship to almost 1 million people per year!

Compulsory immigrant admission quotas for EU Member-states were the latest attempt to manage the process centrally. It is now a trend for more and more European countries to come out of this agreement and decide for themselves how much and whether to accept immigrants at all. The Visegrad Four countries (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) were the first to oppose the quotas and refuse to submit to the EU. Due to the political processes in the EU as a result of the immigrant wave that has flooded Europe, more and more right-wing and center-right parties have come to power in recent years. As a result, the trend has been reversed over the past 2 years and more and more countries are refusing to allow immigrants to their territory.

Migration Trends Until 2017

By 2017, the EU member-states granted citizenship to almost 1 million people annually. For example, in 2016, the number of persons who acquire EU citizenship was 994.8 thousand. This is an 18% increase from 2015.

In 2016, Italy granted citizenship to 201.6 thousand people (or 20% of the EU-28 total), most of all Member States. Right now in Italy, the right wing is ruling a coalition and has stopped accepting immigrants. Spain was second with 150.9 thousand. And the third place were for the United Kingdom: 149.4 thousand… 150 thousand citizenship granted = Brexit!

France followed with 119.2 thousand and Germany 112.8 thousand. Bulgaria has granted citizenship to 1.6 thousand immigrants, or 0.9% of the total.

The highest degree of naturalization – in Croatia, Sweden and Portugal

One commonly used indicator is the “degree of naturalization”, defined as the ratio between the total number of citizens who have received citizenship and the number of foreign residents at the beginning of the same year. The EU Member State with the highest level of naturalization in 2016 was Croatia with 9.7 citizenship per 100 resident foreign nationals. Following on from Sweden and Portugal, respectively, 7.9 and 6.5 were granted nationals per 100 resident foreign nationals.

Major recipients of European citizenship: Moroccans, Albanians and Indians

In terms of initial citizenship, as in previous years, the largest groups were Moroccans (101 300, which corresponds to 10.2% of all citizenship). They are followed by another Muslim nation: the Albanians by 67,500 or 6.8%. Third are Indians: 41,700 or 4.2% (thanks mainly to the reception in the UK – India is a former British colony). Pakistanis are 32,900 or 3.3%. And the Turks: 32,800 or 3.3%. 59% of Indians received British citizenship. About half of the Pakistanis also received British citizenship (51%). Exactly half of the Turks (50%) received German citizenship. Germany is the largest Turkish community in Europe. According to recent data, nearly 2 million ethnic Turks live in Germany.

15% are former citizens of another EU Member State

About 863.3 thousand non-EU nationals residing in an EU Member State acquired EU citizenship in 2016. This is a 19% increase over 2015. Thus, in 2016, non-EUs nationals were they accounted for 87% of all persons who have acquired the nationality of an EU Member State. These new EU-28 citizens are mainly from Africa (30% of total citizenship), Asia (21%), Europe outside the EU-28 (20%), and North and South America (15%).

The number of nationals of EU Member States who had acquired the nationality of another member-state was 120.2 thousand. This is 12.1% of total. In absolute terms, the main groups of EU-28 nationals who have acquired the nationality of another EU Member State are:

– Romanians who became citizens of Italy (13.0 thousand people) or Germany (3.8 thousand people);

– Poles who became citizens of Germany (6,7 thousand people) or the United Kingdom (4,4 thousand people);

– Italians who became citizens of Germany (3.6 thousand) or of the United Kingdom (1.3 thousand);

– Bulgarians who became citizens of Germany (1.7 thousand people) or the United Kingdom (1.2 thousand people).

2019 EU immigration: trends and solutions

Despite the growing general trend of restricting immigrants’ access to the Old Continent, there are still countries in Europe where immigrants are welcome. Especially under the fast-track citizenship, Citizenship by Investment (CIP) and Golden visa programs. According to the Expat Insider ranking for the top immigration countries, the top 5 EU countries in the list are:

  1. Portugal.
  2. Spain.
  3. Netherlands.
  4. Czech Republic.
  5. Bulgaria.

However, Bulgaria stands out among them due to several factors. This is the country with the lowest taxes (10% flat income tax). A booming real estate investment business to invest in (an excellent CIP citizenship investment decision). Unique geo-political location. Moderate climate and well developed, both summer and winter tourism. Rising average incomes amid a relatively low standard of living. Predictable political and economic situation for more than 2 decades (IMB, NATO and EU membership). Bulgarian citizenship = European citizenship, with all the ensuing advantages such as freedom of movement and trade, visa-free travel in the EU, as well as in 169 countries around the world.

If you want quick and easy to get fast-track Bulgarian citizenship, seek the services of VD&A. This is an international consulting and law firm that specializes in the provision of European citizenship by CIP. The company provides high quality corporate services related to starting a new business and registering a new company in Bulgaria with foreign owners.

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