Brexit forced them to apply for a residence permit. Nearly 100,000 Britons received one in 2021, according to annual immigration statistics released on Monday. Precisely 99,644 British nationals obtained a residence permit last year, when they must hold one to legally stay in France since October 1, 2021, against the backdrop of Brexit.

These are still “provisional” data, underlines the Ministry of the Interior on the occasion of this publication of immigration statistics which are, for the rest, definitive, because “given the delays between the filing of an application and issuance of the permit, certain permits issued during the year are not yet registered in the national management database for residence permits”.

Thirteen times less in 2020

By way of comparison, the administration has indicated the final number of residence permits granted to Britons in 2020: 7,686, i.e. thirteen times less. “The need for the British and their dependents to have a specific residence permit on October 1, 2021 has generated an unprecedented influx of requests”, underlined in January the French Ministry of the Interior, justifying the explosion of issuance of titles called “Brexit, withdrawal agreement”.

In addition, the final immigration figures confirm a timid recovery in migratory flows last year, after a year 2020 of record drop in movements due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, 104,381 first asylum applications were registered in France, up 28%, a level which remains well below the pre-health crisis.

Asylum application from Afghanistan

This increase in applications submitted to the dedicated one-stop shops (Guda) is partly explained by the operations to evacuate thousands of Afghan nationals from Kabul, after the Taliban took power in mid-August 2021. Afghanistan is thus consolidating its place as the main country of origin of asylum seekers in France, with 16,116 applications filed (+61%), far ahead of Côte d’Ivoire (6,260), Bangladesh (6,231) and Guinea (5,269).

In the first half of 2022, the number of attempts to illegally cross the Channel increased sharply, the Interior Ministry also told AFP on Monday, reporting a 68% increase (777 attempts for 20,132 people). compared to the same period last year, between January 1 and June 13.

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