Synthesis Report: Family Reunification of Third-Country Nationals in the EU plus Norway

The following Synthesis Report presents a comparative overview of the main findings of the 2016 EMN Focussed Study on Family Reunification of Third-Country Nationals (TCNs) in the EU plus Norway: National Report. The Study aims to compare national policies and/ or practices on family reunification between the different EU Member States plus Norway, and to provide up-to-date information on the latest developments in this area of legal migration to Europe since 2011 onwards. The Study further aims to provide comparable data on the scale of family reunification in the EU28 plus Norway at present, as well as over time (2011-2015 and 2016 where available), supplementing available Eurostat data with national statistics where available.

As one of the main avenues for legal migration to the EU, family reunification accounts for approximately a third of all arrivals of Third-Country Nationals (TCNs). Latest Eurostat data show that, in 2015, more than 440,000 first permits for family reasons were issued to TCNs (reuniting with a TCN sponsor) in the EU Member States plus Norway. The vast majority of the first permits for family reasons granted to TCNs in 2015 were issued by Germany, Italy, Spain, France, UK, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands altogether. Though data on the profile of TCNs, both sponsors and family members, are limited (see Annex 1 to 4), the types of sponsors vary from one (Member) State to another. The share of men and women appears to be approximately equal. The Study observes a general lack of comprehensive data on family reunification, particularly at national level.