- UK gave 560,000 permits given to non-EU nationals last year, says Eurostat
- It means that almost a quarter of all permits in the EU were granted in UK
- Residence permits allow a foreign national from outside EU to stay legally
- Most permits in the UK were given to students and people looking for work
As the migrant crisis rages and European leaders clash on how best to deal with it, the UK gave permission to more half a million people from outside the EU to settle here.
Data watchdog Eurostat said it meant that one in four of all permits issued in the whole of Europe was granted in the UK.
Residence permits are given by European countries to allow a foreign national from outside the EU to stay legally.
According to new figures published today, the UK gave out more than any other country.
In the whole of 2014, some 567,806 permits were granted in the UK out of a total of 2.3million across the EU.
With 177,000 study permits issued, the UK was the primary destination in the EU for education related reasons.
A further 116,707 were granted for people coming for work and 96,501 came for family reasons.
With 177,000 study permits issued, the UK was the primary destination in the EU for education related reasons
Eurostat said: ‘In 2014, EU Member States issued around 2.3 million first residence permits to third country nationals.
‘This represents an decrease of 2 per cent permits compared to the previous year (around 50,000 less permits).
‘The United Kingdom issued the highest number of first permits in the EU in 2014 with 568,000, followed by Poland with 355,000, Germany with 238,000, France with 218,000, Italy with 204,000 and Spain with 189,000.
‘These six countries represented more than 75 per cent of all first permits issued in the EU to non-EU citizens.’