In the fourth quarter of 2022, a total of 123,865 citizens of third countries were ordered to leave the European Union and 28,155 citizens of third countries were returned to another country following an order to leave, the official statistical office of the bloc, Eurostat, revealed.
According to Eurostat, both the number of orders to leave the EU as well as the number of returns increased in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the previous quarter, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Data show that the number of non-EU citizens ordered to leave the bloc in the fourth quarter of 2022 increased by 11 per cent compared to the third quarter, whereas the number of non-EU citizens who were returned increased by nine per cent.
“Compared with the same quarter of 2021, the number of non-EU citizens ordered to leave rose by 37 per cent, and the number of people returned increased by 22 per cent,” Eurostat added.
Among the Member States of the European Union, France reported the highest number of third-country nationals ordered to leave its territory in the last three months of 2022. Data show that a total of 36,835 non-EU nationals were ordered to leave France in the fourth quarter of last year, representing 30 per cent of the total.
France was followed by Croatia, which ordered 19,795 non-EU nationals to leave its territory, Austria (8,985), Greece (8,510), Germany (7,450), and Italy (7,000).
Compared to the third quarter of 2022, it has been revealed that Bulgaria recorded the highest increase in the number of people ordered to leave (+537 per cent), jumping from 510 to 3,235. In the same period, the number of people ordered to leave Ireland increased too – it almost tripled, from 145 to 415.
In terms of citizenship of the people who were ordered to leave the EU, Eurostat disclosed that Afghans topped the list. A total of 13,240 nationals of Afghanistan were ordered to leave the bloc in the last quarter of 2022.
Afghans were followed by Moroccans (9,470), Algerians (8,510), as well as Pakistanis and Tunisians.
As for returns, it has been revealed that France also reported the largest number of non-EU citizens returned to another country in the last three months of 2023. France returned 3,790 third-country citizens to another country and is followed by Germany with 3,545 returns, Sweden with 2,625 returns, and the Czech Republic with 2,605 returns.
Of all these countries, Czechia registered the highest increase in the number of returns compared to the previous quarter (262 per cent), while Syrians topped the list of non-EU citizens who were returned to another country.
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