Statistics Explained

Enforcement of immigration legislation statistics


Data extracted in June 2021.

Planned update: July 2022.

Highlights

137 800 non-EU citizens were refused entry into the EU in 2020. This was the lowest number for any year for which data are available (2008-2020).

11 % fewer non-EU citizens were found to be illegally present in the EU in 2020 compared with 2019.

70 200 non-EU citizens were returned outside of the EU in 2020, 51 % fewer than in 2019.

Non-EU citizens subject to immigration law enforcement in 2020
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eirfs), (migr_eipre), (migr_eiord) and (migr_eirtn)

This article presents indicators on the enforcement of immigration legislation. It provides statistics on: third country or non-European Union (EU) citizens who were refused entry at the external borders of the EU [1]; non-EU citizens who were illegally present on the territory of an EU Member State; and non-EU citizens who were ordered to leave the territory of an EU Member State [2]. Each of these indicators can be regarded as an official record of persons subject to the enforcement of EU immigration legislation, providing a general overview of the outcomes of territorial surveillance and control procedures.

Full article

Latest developments in enforcement statistics

In 2020, 557 500 non-EU citizens were found to be illegally present in the EU; this was down 11.2 % compared with one year earlier, and down 73.3 % compared with the value for 2015 when the highest number since the beginning of the time series was recorded

Figure 1 provides an overview of the information available for the EU pertaining to non-EU citizens who were subject to the enforcement of immigration legislation. Note that the situation for individual EU Member States varied, reflecting specific national characteristics, such as national wealth, history and culture, geographical position, type and length of borders, border infrastructure, border control, judicial procedures, national policies and the legal context of irregular migration.

Among the five main indicators for statistics on the enforcement of immigration legislation, the data on non-EU citizens who were found to be illegally present in the EU showed an atypical movement from 2013 to 2016 (see Figure 1). The flow of irregular migrants entering the EU reached record levels in 2015, peaking at 2 085 500 (rounded to the nearest 100) persons found to be illegally present, before falling to 924 000 in 2016 and to 563 800 in 2017; in 2018 and 2019 there was modest growth before the number fell again in 2020. The declines in 2016 and 2017 reflected not only a reduction in the number of persons found to be illegally present following the exceptional migration flows of earlier years, but also changes in national policies among the EU Member States in reaction to these events; the latter may have impacted on how checks on illegally present non-EU citizens were performed/enforced. Note also that double-counting of the same person by different Member States cannot be excluded.

The number of non-EU citizens who were issued with an order to leave the EU fell for three consecutive years between 2010 and 2013, but then increased in successive years to reach a relative high of 458 600 by 2015. Thereafter, the number of non-EU citizens who were issued with an order to leave the EU fell in 2016 before increasing for three consecutive years to reach 491 200 persons in 2019. Data for 2020 reflect a fall of 19.3 %, down to 396 400, the lowest level since 2013. Following the receipt of an order to leave the territory of an EU Member State, some 99 300 non-EU citizens were returned to another country in 2020: of these 70 200 were returned to non-member countries.

The number of non-EU citizens who were refused entry into the EU stood at 137 800 in 2020; this was the lowest figure recorded (since the time series started in 2008) and was 79.5 % lower than the highest number (670 800) which had been recorded the year before.

The difference between persons found to be illegally present and persons ordered to leave, can be explained either because persons left the territory, either because their situation was regularised by grant of an asylum status or a residence permit. Furthermore, a gap can be noted between the number of persons ordered to leave and the number of persons effectively returned, which can be explained mainly by an appeal of the decision, the procurement of a residence permit or the escape of the persons ordered to leave. More generally, some differences are also explained for administrative reasons, for example if a person is ordered to leave in December of year N, but returned in February of year N+1, or apprehended to be illegally present in year N, but granted asylum in year N+1. Due to differences in national administrative procedures in migration law enforcement and methodological aspects related to compilation of data in this area, the number of persons ordered to leave in a year shall not be directly related with the number of persons found to be illegally present in the same year, and similarly for the number of persons returned and the number of persons ordered to leave in the same reference period.

Figure 1: Non-EU citizens subject to the enforcement of immigration legislation in EU Member States, 2010-2020
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eirfs), (migr_eipre), (migr_eiord) and (migr_eirtn)

Non-EU citizens found to be illegally present

In 2020, 557 500 non-EU citizens were found to be illegally present in the EU. This was down 11.2 % compared with one year before (627 900), and down 73.3 % when compared with the record level of 2015 when the total number of non-EU citizens found to be illegally present stood at 2 085 500.

The EU Member State which reported the largest number of non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in 2020 was Germany (117 900), followed by France (103 900), Hungary (89 400) and Spain (72 300); these four Member States together accounted for 68.8 % of all non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the EU. At the other end of the range, six Member States — Ireland, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Malta, Denmark and Latvia — each recorded less than 1 000 non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in 2020 (see Map 1).

Map 1: Non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the EU Member States or EFTA countries, 2020
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eipre)

Figure 2 looks in more detail at the five EU Member States (Greece, Germany, France, Hungary and Spain) which — during the period 2010-2020 — reported the highest (cumulative) number of persons who were found to be illegally present.

In Greece, Hungary and Germany, there was a marked peak in the number of illegally present non-EU citizens in 2015. The peak in Greece was 911 500 persons, but the number fell rapidly to 204 800 persons in 2016 and to 68 100 persons in 2017, before rising again to 123 000 in 2019; in 2020, the number dropped back to 47 300, the lowest level since 2013. By contrast, the number of non-EU citizens who were found to be illegally present in Germany rose to a high of 376 400 persons in 2015, a level that was almost maintained in 2016 when there were 370 600 illegally present persons found; the information available for 2020 reveals that the number of such persons in Germany had fallen to 117 900. The developments in Hungary were initially similar to those in Greece, with a peak of 424 100 citizens who were found to be illegally present in 2015 quickly falling back to 41 600 in 2016; developments since then in Hungary have involved a fall to a low of 18 900 in 2018, followed by two years of increases, jumping to 89 400 in 2020. In France, the number of non-EU citizens found to be illegally present followed a pattern that was similar to the overall figures of the other EU Member States, initially falling, before rising in 2014 (note that there is a break in series) and 2015, and then fluctuating through to 2020.

The developments in Spain were different from the other EU Member States mentioned here, as the number of persons found to be illegally present remained relatively stable between 2013 and 2017. Like Hungary, Spain also recorded an increase in 2020 compared with 2019, although the increase was much smaller in magnitude.

Figure 2: Non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the five most affected EU Member States, 2010-2020
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eipre)

Non-EU citizens found to be illegally present — by sex and age

Irregular migration was predominantly a male issue, as shown by the information presented in Figure 3. An analysis by sex of the number of non-EU citizens who were found to be illegally present in the EU indicates that more than four fifths (83.3 %) of the total recorded number in 2020 concerned men. This proportion was similar to the corresponding share recorded in 2010, when men accounted for 82.3 % of all illegally present persons; note the data for the EU aggregate in 2010 exclude information for Croatia.

In 2020, young men aged 18-34 years accounted for more than half of all non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the EU

In 2020, most non-EU citizens who were found to be illegally present in the EU were young males aged between 18 and 34 years (54.0 % of the total recorded number). They were followed by men aged 35 years and over, with this age group accounting for 20.7 % of the total number of persons found to be staying illegally; all other age groups for one or other of the sexes recorded shares below one tenth, the next highest being 7.7 % for women aged 18-34 years.

A simple analysis by age (for both sexes combined) of the situation in 2020 reveals that persons aged 18-34 years accounted for 61.7 % of the total number of non-EU citizens who were found to be illegally present in the EU, while over one quarter (28.2 %) of the total were aged 35 years or over. Around 1 in 20 (5.4 %) were children aged 17 years or under; in absolute numbers, there were 30 300 children aged 17 years or under who were non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the EU in 2020.

Figure 3: Non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the EU, by sex and age, 2010 and 2020
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eipre)

In 2020, Ukrainian citizens accounted for the highest number of non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the EU

In 2015, Syrian citizens accounted for the highest number of persons found to be illegally present in the EU and this pattern was repeated in both of the next two years (2016 and 2017). There was a notable peak of 856 500 persons in 2015 (see Table 1). Afghan citizens were the second largest group of non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the EU during 2015 and 2016, while Moroccans were the second largest in 2017. In 2018, the number of Moroccan citizens found to be illegally present in the EU increased slightly (up 1.8 %) while the number of Syrians decreased (down 20.4 %), resulting in Moroccans having the highest number (38 500 persons) of non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the EU, followed by Ukrainians (37 100). Despite the number of Moroccan citizens found to be illegally present in the EU increasing further in 2019 (up 7.8 %), the highest number was observed among Afghan citizens, as an 85.4 % increase took their number to 56 200 in 2019. In 2020, the number of Ukrainians found to be illegally present in the EU increased by 21.9 % to reach 50 400, the highest number of any non-EU citizenship, ahead of Syrians whose number increased by 13.6 % to 45 700. The third and fourth highest numbers of non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the EU in 2020 were recorded for Moroccans and Algerians, respectively just above and below 40 000.

The number of non-EU citizens who were found to be illegally present in the EU was 11.2 % lower in 2020 than in 2019, and 73.3 % lower than the number in 2015. Between the peak in 2015 and the latest period for which data are available (2020), the largest reduction in absolute terms was recorded for Syrian citizens, their number falling to 45 700 in 2020 (down 810 800 compared with 2015). Large absolute falls were also observed for Afghanis and Iraqis who were found to be illegally present, as their numbers fell 371 900 and 164 700 respectively during this period. In relative terms, Syria also recorded the largest fall (among the top 20 countries shown in Table 1), down 94.7 %.

During the same period (2015-2020), the number of Ukrainian citizens who were found to be illegally present in the EU increased the most, up 27 000. Moldova and Algeria recorded increases between 2015 and 2020 of around 20 000 in the number of their citizens found to be illegally present in the EU. The next largest increases between 2015 and 2020 were 6 400 for Colombians (not shown in Table 1 as their total between 2015 and 2020 was not in the top 20) and 5 700 for Turkish citizens.

Table 1: Top 20 countries of citizenship of non-EU citizens found to be illegally present in the EU, 2015-2020
Source: Eurostat (migr_eipre)

Non-EU citizens ordered to leave the EU

The number of non-EU citizens presented with orders to leave the territory of an EU Member State decreased between 2015 and 2016, increased through until 2019 and then fell sharply in 2020 (see Figure 1). In 2020, the total number of non-EU citizens ordered to leave the EU stood at 396 400. Disparities in migration policies, administrative, statistical and legal acts, as well as judicial procedures contribute to some of the differences observed between EU Member States, with any changes in these factors potentially influencing the resulting statistics. That said, based on information available for 2015 and for 2020 for all 27 of the EU Member States, the number of citizens ordered to leave the EU fell overall between these years by 62 200, down 13.6 %.

Of the 394 400 persons ordered to leave EU Member States in 2020, 27.3 % were ordered to leave France, far more than from any other Member State. The next highest shares were recorded for Spain (12.7 %), Greece (9.7 %) and Germany (9.2 %) — see Table 2. The number of non-EU citizens ordered to leave Greece fell by 40 300 between 2019 and 2020, while Poland (down 18 300), France (down 15 500) and Germany (down 11 200) reported the next largest declines in their respective numbers of non-EU citizens that were ordered to leave. In five of the Member States, the number of non-EU citizens ordered to leave increased between 2019 and 2020. Relatively large increases were observed in Spain (an increase of 12 400 persons) and Croatia (up 7 600), while smaller increases were observed in Cyprus, Hungary and Estonia.

Table 2: Non-EU citizens ordered to leave the territory of an EU Member State or an EFTA country, 2015-2020
Source: Eurostat (migr_eiord)

Figure 4 presents information on non-EU citizens who, in 2019 and 2020, were issued with an order to leave an EU Member State. In 2020, these were predominantly citizens of Algeria (34 000), Morocco (33 600), Albania (23 200), Ukraine (21 500), Pakistan (19 100) and Afghanistan (18 400).

A comparison with 2019 reveals that the largest absolute increases in 2020 in the number of citizens being ordered to leave the EU were recorded for citizens of Algeria (5 900 more), Mali (3 500 more) and Colombia (3 400 more), while the largest absolute decreases in non-EU citizens being ordered to leave were recorded for citizens of Ukraine (15 500 fewer), Afghanistan (11 200 fewer), Iraq (9 200 fewer) and Albania (7 800 fewer).

Figure 4: Top 20 countries of citizenship of non-EU citizens ordered to leave the EU, 2019 and 2020
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eiord)

Returns of non-EU citizens

In 2020, 70 200 non-EU citizens were returned outside of the EU

In 2020, 70 200 non-EU citizens who had been issued with an order to leave an EU Member State were returned to non-member countries. As such, this marked a decrease of 50.7 % compared with a year before when there had been 142 300 non-EU citizens returned to non-member countries. However, there were generally more modest changes observed over the last 10 years, as the number of non-EU citizens returned ranged between 2010 and 2019 from a low of 122 500 returns outside of the EU in 2011 to a relative peak (for the time series presented in Figure 1) of 192 500 in 2016.

An analysis of the 20 largest number of returns of non-EU citizens from individual EU Member States is shown in Figure 5. The single largest flow was of 3 500 Albanians from Greece, slightly larger than the combined size of the next two largest flows: 1 900 Albanian citizens from France and 1 500 Moroccan citizens from Spain. Germany was the origin for six of the 20 largest flows, returning citizens of Georgia, Albania, Moldova, Serbia, Iraq and North Macedonia. Greece and Spain were the origin of three of these flows each: Albanians, Pakistanis and Georgians from Greece, and Moroccans, Colombians and Algerians from Spain. The non-EU citizenships that appeared most often among the 20 largest returns were Albanians (from Germany, Greece, France and Italy) and Georgians (returned from Germany, Greece and France).

Figure 5: Top 20 flows of non-EU citizens returned from individual EU Member States to countries outside the EU, 2020
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eirtn)

Types of returns and assistance received

In recent years, there has been an increase in demand for more detailed information on the enforcement of immigration legislation. This has resulted from increased interest/awareness concerning developments of new statistics on returns (including the collection of new statistics on returns by type of return and assistance received). A majority of EU Member States have provided (on a voluntary basis) additional statistics to Eurostat with more detailed indicators concerning returns of non-EU citizens; this information is based on a harmonised set of methodological guidelines.

One of these new datasets provides information on the type of returns. Based on the information that is available for 19 Member States, there were 58 400 returns in 2020, of which 41.8 % involved people who left the territory voluntarily, while 42.0 % were enforced returns; there was also a large number of non-classified returns from Slovenia (and smaller numbers from Greece and Poland) — accounting for 16.1 % of the EU total.

Figure 6 shows that there was great variation in the proportion of returns accounted for by voluntary and enforced returns in 2020 in each of the EU Member States, as voluntary returns accounted for less than 10 % of all returns from Hungary, Slovenia (note that many returns are not classified), Denmark and Italy, but for 75 % or more of all returns from Czechia, Sweden, Poland, Estonia and Latvia. It should however be noted that recording voluntary returns cases can be impacted by quality issues and comparability may therefore be limited.

Figure 6: Non-EU citizens returned outside the EU or EFTA country, by type of return, 2020
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eirt_vol)

Another new dataset provides information on types of assistance received by non-EU citizens who left the EU to facilitate their return. Some return programmes funded by the EU, national or international organisations provide reintegration support for returnees. This may include administrative, logistical and/or financial support to migrants who return to their country of origin.

Figure 7 shows that, across the 16 EU Member States for which data are available, there were 51 400 returns in 2020, of which 27.5 % were assisted returns and 72.5 % were non-assisted returns.

Figure 7: Non-EU citizens who left the EU or EFTA country, by type of assistance received, 2020
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eirt_ass)

As was the case for voluntary and enforced returns, there was a wide degree of variation between the EU Member States concerning whether assistance was given or not to non-EU citizens leaving the EU in 2020. Nine tenths (90.2 %) of non-EU citizens who left Hungary in 2020 were assisted in their return, as were 65.7 % of those leaving Luxembourg, 62.0 % of those leaving Austria, 58.3 % of those leaving Belgium and 56.6 % of those leaving Slovakia. A majority of non-EU citizens leaving the other Member States were not assisted. Less than 10.0 % of the non-EU citizens leaving Latvia, Italy, Poland or Croatia received an assisted return, while the share of assisted returns from Slovenia was 0.1 %.

Non-EU citizens refused entry into the EU

In 2020, more than one quarter of the total number of non-EU citizens who were refused entry into the EU were recorded in Hungary

In 2020, some 137 800 non-EU citizens were refused entry into the EU at one of its external borders. More than one quarter of the total number of refusals were recorded in Hungary (36 500; 26.5 %) and one fifth (28 100; 20.4 %) were recorded in Poland. The next highest numbers were in Croatia (14 700) and Romania (12 600). Altogether, the six EU Member States that recorded the highest numbers of non-EU citizens refused entry into the EU — as shown in Figure 8 — accounted for just under three quarters (73.4 %) of the total number refused entry into the EU in 2020.

Figure 8: Share of non-EU citizens refused entry into the EU, 2020
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eirfs)

The total number of people refused entry into the EU rose from 282 900 in 2015 to 670 800 in 2019, before falling to 137 800 in 2020 (see Table 3). There was an overall increase of 137.1 % in the total number of non-EU citizens refused entry into the EU between 2015 and 2019, followed by a fall of 79.5 % in 2020.

In 2020, the total number of refusals made in Hungary was higher (at 36 500) than in 2015 (when there had been 11 500 refusals). The share of Hungarian refusals in the total number of refusals in the EU increased from 4.1 % in 2015 to 26.5 % in 2020. Hungary was one of 10 EU Member States whose number of refusals increased between 2015 and 2020 (there was no change in Luxembourg).

Among the 16 EU Member States where the number of refusals decreased between 2015 and 2020, by far the largest fall was observed in Spain, down 97.9 % from 168 300 in 2015 to 3 500 in 2020. Spain’s share of the EU total fell from 59.5 % in 2015 to 2.6 % in 2020. This decrease in the Spanish share was so large that only France, Greece and Malta also recorded falls in their shares of the EU total (down 2.5, 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points respectively); elsewhere the shares stayed the same or increased.

Table 3: Non-EU citizens refused entry into an EU Member State or an EFTA country, 2015-2020
Source: Eurostat (migr_eirfs)

In 2020, the vast majority (77.5 %) of non-EU citizens who were refused entry into the EU were stopped at external land borders; the share of refusals at air borders was 20.2 %, while only a small proportion (2.3 %) of total refusals for entry into the EU were at sea borders. Note that some of the EU Member States are landlocked and hence, by definition, do not have any sea borders, while others have just internal land borders within the Schengen area. The compilation of statistics on refused entry by countries within the Schengen area generally only concerns external borders of the Schengen area, although internal borders may be considered in exceptional cases, such as when a temporary border control is introduced between Schengen members.

These differences in the data analysed by type of border were largely influenced by the high shares of refusals recorded at external land borders — all over 90.0 % — in the four EU Member States with the largest numbers of refusals, namely Hungary, Poland, Croatia and Romania. Besides these four, there were relatively high numbers of refusals at land borders in 2020 in Slovenia, Lithuania and Bulgaria (see Table 4); none of the other EU Member States for which data are available recorded in excess of 4 000 refusals at land borders. As regards air borders, Germany had the highest number of refusals (4 200), followed by Spain (3 100), Italy (3 000), France (2 900) and Ireland (2 500). Italy (1 100) and France (700) reported the highest numbers of refusals at sea borders for 2020; none of the other Member States for which data are available recorded in excess of 400 refusals at sea borders.

Table 4: Non-EU citizens refused entry into an EU Member State or an EFTA country, by type of border, 2020
Source: Eurostat (migr_eirfs)

The highest number of citizens refused entry into the EU in 2020 was for Ukrainians

Figure 9 shows the most common origins of citizens refused entry into the EU in 2020, with the data analysed according to the type of border that they were trying to cross. The information presented is dominated by the high number of Ukrainian citizens being refused entry into the EU at land borders (53 100), while the total number of Ukrainians refused entry into the EU (by any means) was 56 400. The next highest numbers of refusals were recorded for citizens of Albania (13 300) and Moldova (10 200). Ukrainian citizens who were refused entry into the EU mainly tried to cross land borders with Hungary and Poland and to a lesser extent with Romania. The majority of the Albanian citizens were refused entry at Croatian, Hungarian, Greek or Slovenian land borders, or at Italian sea and air borders. The majority of Moldovans were refused entry at Romanian, Hungarian or Polish land borders.

Figure 9: Top 20 countries of citizenship of non-EU citizens refused entry into the EU, by type of border, 2020
(number)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eirfs)

Looking at the reasons for entry refusal — which are based on the Schengen Borders Code — the highest number of non-EU citizens who were refused entry into the EU in 2020 was recorded for those whose purpose and conditions of stay were not justified (59 800; 43.4 % of the total) — see Figure 10. The next most common ground for refusing entry of non-EU citizens into the EU was that the person was considered to be a public threat (22.8 % of the total).

Figure 10: Grounds of entry refusal for non-EU citizens refused entry into the EU, 2020
(%)
Source: Eurostat (migr_eirfs)

Data sources

Statistics on the enforcement of immigration legislation are based on administrative data provided by national authorities in line with the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 concerning statistics on migration and international protection. The compilation of these statistics draws on the terms used by the Schengen Borders Code, an EU code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Regulation (EU) No 2016/399); for more information on the Schengen area, see here.

Statistics on the enforcement of immigration legislation exclude outgoing asylum seekers who are transferred from one EU Member State to another under the mechanism established by the Dublin Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1560/2003 and Regulation (EU) No 604/2013); these cases are covered by Dublin statistics.

Note that the data for the number of non-EU citizens presented in the text of this article have been rounded to the nearest one hundred, for ease of reading and comprehension: more precise values (rounded to the nearest five) are shown in the tables and figures. Due to the rounding, various totals (such as for the EU) may not necessarily match the sum of the values for their components (such as the sum of values for the EU Member States).

Tables in this article use the following notation:

Value in italics     data value is forecasted, provisional or estimated and is therefore likely to change;
: not available, confidential or unreliable value;
not applicable.

Context

The enforcement of migration law refers to two main issues: controlling the EU’s external borders and the management of unauthorised non-EU citizens found on the territory of an EU Member State. Coordination between EU Member States regarding border controls has increased significantly over the last decade. The most noteworthy developments concern Regulation (EU) No 2016/399 establishing a Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (the Schengen Borders Code); and Regulation (EU) No 2016/1624 on the European Border and Coast Guard, which also amended Regulation (EU) No 2016/399 and repealed Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004.

Regarding the management of irregular migrant populations, the so-called Return Directive (2008/115/EC) came into force at the end of 2010 establishing common standards for returning non-EU citizens illegally staying in the EU. The directive provides for clear, transparent, common and fair rules for return and removal, the use of coercive measures, detention and re-entry, while respecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the persons concerned.

In addition, Regulation (EU) No 1052/2013 established the European border surveillance system (EUROSUR). This provides ‘a common framework for the exchange of information and for the cooperation between EU Member States and FRONTEX’. The aim of this system is to improve situational awareness and to increase reaction capabilities at external borders of the EU for the purpose of detecting, preventing and combating illegal immigration and cross-border crime, while contributing to ensuring the protection and saving of migrant lives.

As regards measuring the enforcement of immigration legislation, the progress made so far on collecting harmonised data results from the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 862/2007, in particular Articles 5 and 7. This regulation aims to support evidence-based decision-making, providing specifications concerning the data that should be submitted by EU Member States on the number of non-EU citizens refused entry at the EU’s external borders, the number of non-EU citizens apprehended for being illegally present in the EU, and the number of non-EU citizens who were removed from the EU as a result of their presence being unauthorised. Irregular migration remains a phenomenon difficult to quantify, especially during times when an effective and humane ‘returns policy’ is considered by many to form an essential part of migration policy.

Notes

  1. EU aggregates are computed as the sum of the national statistics available for the EU Member States. It is possible that the statistics for the EU involve some double counting of individuals if they are found to be illegally present in more than one Member State.
  2. Statistics on the enforcement of immigration legislation refer to the concept of external borders for all EU Member States and EFTA countries, even if some of these are not in the Schengen area. The external borders of the Schengen area do not coincide with the external borders of the EU Member States due to: opt-outs for Ireland from the Schengen area; Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not yet members of the Schengen area; Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are part of the Schengen area but are not members of the EU.

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Enforcement of Immigration Legislation (migr_eil)
Third country nationals refused entry at the external borders - annual data (rounded) (migr_eirfs)
Third country nationals found to be illegally present - annual data (rounded) (migr_eipre)
Third country nationals ordered to leave - annual data (rounded) (migr_eiord)
Third country nationals ordered to leave by citizenship, age and sex - quarterly data (rounded) (migr_eiord1)
Third-country unaccompanied minors ordered to leave, by citizenship, age and sex of the minor – quarterly data (rounded) (migr_eiord2)
Third country nationals returned following an order to leave - annual data (rounded) (migr_eirtn)
Third country nationals returned following an order to leave by citizenship age and sex - quarterly data (rounded) (migr_eirtn1)
Third-country unaccompanied minors returned following an order to leave, by type of return, citizenship, country of destination, age and sex of the minor – quarterly data (rounded) (migr_eirtn2)
Third-country nationals who have left the territory by type of return and citizenship (migr_eirt_vol)
Third-country nationals who have left the territory by type of assistance received and citizenship (migr_eirt_ass)
Third-country nationals who have left the territory to a third country by type of agreement procedure and citizenship (migr_eirt_agr)
Third-country nationals who have left the territory to a third country by destination country and citizenship (migr_eirt_des)