Foreign residents in Czechia exceed 1 million for first time

Third-country nationals, mainly from Ukraine, Vietnam, and Russia, make up 80 percent of the foreign resident population. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 13.07.2023 10:14:00 (updated on 13.07.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechia experienced a significant demographic shift in 2022 as the number of foreign residents exceeded 1 million for the first time. The increase was primarily driven by a wave of refugees from Ukraine, resulting in a substantial 69 percent year-on-year rise, according to the Interior Ministry's annual report on migration and integration of foreigners.

At the end of 2022, the authorities had registered 1,116,154 foreigners with legal stays of over 90 days in Czechia. Among them, approximately 30 percent were permanent residents, 31 percent were temporary residents, and 39 percent had been granted temporary protection.

Most foreigners from third countries

Third-country nationals, mainly from Ukraine, Vietnam, and Russia, constituted 80 percent of the foreign resident population. Czechia also registered a total of 227,348 EU citizens. Slovaks have traditionally been the most numerous and, after Ukrainians, formed the largest group of foreigners with registered Czech residences at the end of 2022.

Czechia emerged as the largest recipient of Ukrainian refugees in the European Union based on the number of accepted refugees per population. Some 473,216 refugees received temporary protection in Czechia due to the conflict in Ukraine caused by the invasion of Russian troops. At the end of 2022, there were 433,540 foreigners with temporary protection registered in the country.

The influx of Ukrainian refugees also impacted the labor market, with over 100,000 foreigners with temporary protection finding employment in Czechia by the end of 2022, representing a 74 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Illegal migration also surged

Alongside the refugee wave, Czechia faced a significant rise in illegal transit migration. The number of apprehended migrants increased to 29,235, a notable 162 percent year-on-year surge. This was largely attributed to heightened migratory pressure on the EU's external border via the Western Balkan route, with Syrians comprising the majority of apprehended migrants. In response, temporary border checks were implemented with Slovakia from September 2022 to February 2023.

Additionally, Czechia saw a 20 percent rise in the number of international protection applicants in 2022, with a total of 1,694 applications received. Notably, both Turkish nationals and Russian citizens displayed increased interest in seeking international protection, as highlighted in the Interior Ministry's report.

Czechia's evolving demographic landscape, shaped by the influx of refugees and illegal transit migration, presents new challenges that require a comprehensive approach to ensure successful integration and social cohesion within the country.

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