2021 Annual Statistic on French Immigration

visa visiteurIn accordance with the European Statistics Code of Practice, the Directorate General for Foreigners in France (DGEF) of the Ministry of the Interior has set up a calendar for the publication of annual statistics on French immigration falling within the scope of migration and international protection.

Thus, in compliance with the rules of official statistics, on 20 January 2022 a first estimate of admission to stay in 2021 will be released, as well as provisional data relating to the issuance of visas to foreigners, the removal of foreigners in an irregular situation. , the asylum application and the acquisition of French nationality.

The Covid-19 pandemic crisis further constrained migration flows in 2021.

I. Visas and residence permits

The issuance of visas is on the rise in 2021 (+2.9%), with a total of 733,069 visas issued. This quasi-stability masks very contrasting developments. On the one hand, the number of short-stay visas for the Schengen area has experienced a further drop (-10.6%) while long-stay visas have picked up very markedly (+54.2%). With 229,094 long-stay visas issued, this increase almost entirely erases the fall in 2020 (236,246 in 2019). Russia jumps from second to fifteenth place in terms of the number of visas issued, China from fourth to eighth. Conversely, there has been a very strong increase in visas for Saudi nationals, who now occupy third place in terms of the number of visas issued (behind Morocco and Algeria,

The first issue of residence permits, the figures presented of which are based on an estimate based on trends measured at 31 December of the year, should increase by 21.9% in 2021, erasing the sharp drop observed in 2020, with 271,675 residence permits issued. The level almost reached that of 2019 (277,406).

Family and student immigration, which would still represent the two largest shares of the migratory flow, would experience more moderate increases (resp. 16.2% and 16.5%). Professional, humanitarian and miscellaneous reasons would progress the most. Professional titles are driven up by seasonal or temporary titles, which had experienced a very sharp drop in 2020. With regard to humanitarian titles, they exceed the levels reached before the 2020 health crisis (37,851 in 2019).

In 2021, nearly 37,000 “talent passport” residence permits were issued (approximately 11,000 first permits and 26,000 permits for renewal), i.e. an overall increase of 14%, completely erasing the drop in 2020. This category of permit return to the levels reached in 2019.

The British were counted separately in the statistics provided. The need for British people and their dependents to have a specific residence permit on October 1, 2021 has generated an unprecedented influx of requests. Thus, 96,632 residence permits were issued to them under the “Brexit, withdrawal agreement” permits for the year 2021.

II. The expulsion of foreigners in an irregular situation

The fight against irregular immigration continues, in a context that is still very constrained due to the difficulties encountered in organizing travel in times of health crisis: reduced consular activity, difficulty in obtaining LPC, drop in air traffic, refusal to submit to testing.

In 2021, the total deportations of foreigners in an irregular situation is up by 8.2% compared to 2020, but remains well below the levels reached before the pandemic.

It is forced removals that have increased the most (+10.8%), in particular readmissions of third-country nationals (+19.2%) as well as assisted voluntary departures, which had fallen sharply in 2020.

In total, 16,819 foreigners in an irregular situation left the national territory in 2021 (removals, assisted voluntary departures and spontaneous departures).

III. asylum

In 2021, 104,577 first applications (including minors) were registered at the One-Stop Asylum Application Centers (GUDA), up 28.3% without reaching the 2019 level (138,420).

In 2021, the first countries of origin of first-time asylum seekers in GUDA are Afghanistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Bangladesh, Guinea and Turkey. Georgia is again in the ranking of the top 10 countries he left in 2020.

OFPRA registered 103,011 asylum applications (+6.8%) and took 139,513 decisions (+55.4%), including 107,886 excluding accompanying minors. This is a level never reached by the Office in the past. The CNDA received more than 68,243 appeals and rendered as many decisions (68,403), exceeding the levels reached in 2019.

The number of people who have been granted protection (OFPRA and CNDA) is increasing very sharply and reaches 54,094 in 2021 after 33,201 in 2020 (+ 62.9%). The synthetic protection rate (OFPRA and CNDA) is almost stable in 2021 (39.0%, +0.1%).

IV. The acquisition of French nationality

In 2021, the number of acquisitions of French nationality by decree and by declaration (marriage, French ascendants, French brothers and sisters), under the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior, experienced a very sharp increase with 94,092 acquisitions (+ 53.3%). This increase, which is explained by productivity gains at all stages of the procedure, was amplified by the mechanism for recognizing the commitment of foreigners during the COVID 19 crisis. The latter, launched in September 2020, has enabled 16,313 people to acquire French nationality (15,110 naturalisations and 1,203 registrations of declarations, mainly as spouses of French nationals).

This change covers a very marked increase in acquisitions by decree (75,249; +79.5%) and a further drop in the number of acquisitions by declaration which fall within the competence of the Ministry of the Interior – marriage; ascendant and siblings- (17,280; -5.3%)