Fewer Migrants Ordered to Leave EU in Q1 2024

Fewer Migrants Ordered to Leave EU in Q1 2024

In the first part of 2024, the European Union (EU) saw notable shifts in migration patterns. 

Fewer non-EU citizens were told to leave EU countries, but more people returned to their home countries or went elsewhere.

This change shows evolving immigration rules and enforcement in the EU.

Declining orders to leave, rising returns

According to recent data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, 103,515 non-EU citizens were told to leave EU countries in the first quarter of 2024.

This number is 2% lower than the previous quarter and 7% lower than the same time in 2023.

However, the number of people who actually left following an order to leave increased to 30,570.

This is a 6% increase from the previous quarter and an 11% increase from last year.

Most of these people, 85%, went to countries outside the EU.

France and Germany lead migration enforcement

France and Germany were the main enforcers of migration orders, making up almost half of all orders in the first part of 2024. 

France had 34,190 orders, and Germany had 15,400.

Belgium, Italy, and Greece also issued significant numbers of migration orders, with numbers between 2,265 and 6,965.

When it comes to actual returns, France had 4,205, Germany had 3,950, and Sweden had 3,135.

Smaller countries like Lithuania, Hungary, and Latvia had high return rates compared to their populations.

Nationalities most affected by migration orders

Algerian and Moroccan citizens each made up 7% of the people told to leave EU countries, followed by Turkish citizens at 6%.

Syrians and Georgians each made up 5% of these orders.

For those who actually left, Georgians were the most at 9%, with Albanians and Turks each at 6%.

Colombians, Moroccans, Algerians, and Syrians each made up 4% of returns.

Possibly tightened visa enforcement policies

These trends affect different groups of non-EU visitors and immigrants.

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will make short-term visits easier for some people, but more people returning might mean stricter rules for those who stay too long or do not follow immigration rules.

With more people leaving and fewer being told to leave, it seems EU countries are focusing on enforcing the rules effectively.

This might mean visa applications and ETIAS authorizations will be checked more carefully in the future.

For long-term travelers like students, digital nomads, and investors, these trends highlight the importance of keeping their residency status valid and following immigration rules.

Refined migration management strategies

The changing migration trends will likely affect both Schengen-wide and national immigration policies.

With ETIAS starting soon, EU countries might use these numbers to improve how they handle short-term visitors and long-term immigrants.

There might be a more detailed approach to managing migration.

While ETIAS will make travel easier for non-EU travelers, the increased focus on returns shows that there is also an emphasis on making sure people follow the rules of their stay.

This focus on making legitimate travel easier with ETIAS while improving returns may lead to more specific immigration policies across the EU.

A balancing act for EU migration management

As the EU continues to handle complex migration challenges, the trends from the first part of 2024 show a careful balance.

Fewer non-EU citizens are being told to leave, but more are actually returning, indicating a more focused approach to enforcing migration rules.

These changes will likely impact future discussions on EU migration policy, affecting both short-term travel authorizations like ETIAS and long-term residency requirements.

As the situation changes, visitors and potential immigrants to the EU will need to stay informed about new regulations and enforcement practices to follow European immigration laws.