While much public debate in Europe about immigration focuses on labour migration, asylum-seeking and irregular migration, family migration has been, is and will continue to be a key migration flow. In 2017, more than a quarter (26.5 per cent) of ‘first residence permits’ issued by EU member states were for family-related reasons. There is significant variation between member states. In Italy, first residence permits for family reasons were 60 per cent of the total permits issued, in Spain the figure was 54 per cent, while the figure for the UK was much lower at 19.6 per cent (Eurostat 2017b).
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