Number of Foreign Nationals In Czech Republic Topped 1 Million For The First Time In 2022

80% of the foreign nationals were citizens of non-EU countries, mainly Ukraine, Vietnam and Russia. Credit: KK / BD.

Prague, July 13 (CTK) – The number of foreign nationals residing in the Czech Republic exceeded one million for the first time in 2022, in connection with the refugee wave from Ukraine. The number of foreigners rose by 69% year-on-year, mainly people with temporary protection status, according to a report from the Interior Ministry.

The annual report on migration and integration of foreigners was discussed by the government yesterday and released to CTK by the Interior Ministry.

At the end of 2022, the authorities registered 1,116,154 foreigners residing legally for more than 90 days in the Czech Republic. Of these, about 30% were permanent residents, 31% temporary, and another 39% had been granted temporary protection.

Among foreign nationals with legal residence, 80% were citizens of third (non-EU) countries, mainly Ukraine, Vietnam and Russia.

The Czech Republic also registered 227,348 EU citizens. Slovaks were the most represented among them, and formed the largest national group of foreign nationals after Ukrainians.

The annual report also notes that the Czech Republic became the top recipient of Ukrainian refugees in the EU, in terms of refugees per population. By the end of last year, 473,216 refugees had received Czech temporary protection from the war in Ukraine caused by the invasion of Russian troops. As of 31 December, 433,540 foreigners with temporary protection were registered in the Czech Republic.

The invasion of Ukraine has also affected the development of labour migration.

“The number of foreigners with free access to the [Czech] labour market increased significantly with the arrival of people with temporary protection (by 74% year-on-year) and by the end of 2022, over 100,000 foreigners with temporary protection were employed in the Czech Republic,” concluded the report.

Another major trend in the Czech Republic last year, alongside the arrival of Ukrainian refugees, was a large wave of irregular transit migration of refugees, mainly from war-torn Syria. In January, the police announced that they had detained 29,235 irregular refugees, a 162% rise from the previous year. This is the highest year-on-year increase since the Czech Republic joined the Schengen area, and was caused by increased refugee flows on the EU’s external border, via the so-called Western Balkan route. In an attempt to deal with these numbers, the Czech government temporarily introduced checks at the border with Slovakia, from the end of September 2022 until the beginning of February this year, the report says.

The Czech Republic also saw a 20% year-on-year increase in the number of applicants for international protection last year, 1,694 applications in total. Higher interest in this was observed from Turkish and Russian citizens, according to the Interior Ministry.

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