Over 622,000 Albanians have been granted residence permits in the European Union over the last 10 years. In a country of some 2.8 million, this represents an equivalent of a quarter of the population leaving in just a decade, not counting those that live outside of the EU.
According to data published by Eurostat that was then processed by Monitor.al (graphs below), the most permits were granted between 2008 and 2010 with around 100,000, or 50,000 a year. In the following years, there was a significant drop in permits with around 31,200 being issued. This does not mean that less people emigrated or wanted to emigrate, it just means that less were issued- a matter that could be related to permit requirements and processes in European Union states.
Then in 2018, the number of permits increased to 62,500 in one year, the highest number since 2010.
According to the data, Italy is the most popular destination for Albanian emigrant with 308,000 permits issued since 2008, Greece is in second place with 224,000 accounting for around 36%. According to Monitor, in both countries, there has been a decline in residence permits issued in the last few years, whereas Germany has become more popular
Some 28,000 German permits were issued of which 10,000 were issued in 2018 alone. Germany has become a popular choice for Albanians due to the demand for nurses, IT professionals and engineers.
The UK is in fourth place, issuing over 3000 permits during 2017-2018, and almost 20,000 since 2008. France is in fifth place with 10,700 permits in total, with around 2000 per year being issued since 2017.
The number of Albanians being granted permits is on the up- 20% higher during 2018 than 2017. 62,525 were issued in 2018 whereas only around 51,000 were issued in the previous year. In Italy and Greece, Albanians are the most common nationality for immigrants, with Chinese, and Georgians in second place.
Across the whole EU, a total of 3.2 million residence permits have been issued, with most due to family reasons, employment reasons, and education reasons. In terms of Albanian permits, in 2018, 34,000 were issued for family reasons and almost 10,000 for employment reasons.
These figures do not take into account those who applied and were rejected or those who applied for asylum.