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The Migration Department has released preliminary migration metrics for H2 2018. These have revealed that the largest foreign community in Lithuania is no longer Russians, but citizens of Ukraine, lrt.lt writes.
Ukrainians become the largest foreign community in Lithuania
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

58,021 foreigners resided in Lithuania on January 1, 2019. Of them, 16,873 were Ukrainian citizens, an increase of 42% compared to a year ago.

Data for other countries: 12,433 Russian citizens (2.9% yearly decrease), 12,162 Belarussian citizens (31.8% yearly increase). Citizens from the aforementioned countries comprised 84% of all foreigners living in Lithuania. The largest group of EU member state citizens was comprised of Latvian (1,100), German (768) and Polish (736) citizens.

While the overall number of Lithuanian residents declined 0.5% compared to January 1, 2018, the number of foreigners living in the country rose by 17.5%. With this, on January 1, 2019, foreigners comprised 2.08% of all residents of Lithuania (compared to 1.76% a year ago).

The largest part of foreigners living in Lithuania is comprised of those with temporary residence permits (57.3%, 50.5% last year). The number of temporary residency requests from foreigners increased by 15.9% over the year.

Fewer asylum seekers arrived in the European Union last half, compared to the same period the previous year. Their number decreased in Lithuania as well: 18 foreigners were transferred to Lithuania from European Union member states and third countries (117 in H2 2017), 279 asylum requests from foreigners were received (201 the year before). The largest number of asylum requests were from Tajik (74), Russian (39), Iraqi (34) and Syrian (30) citizens.

The number of foreigners barred entry or expelled also grew in H2 2018, compared to the same period in 2017. The number of those barred entry rose by 4.2%, those returned to a foreign country rose by 13.9% (1,148 foreigners), while the number of foreigners expelled from the Republic of Lithuania rose by 76.9% (92 foreigners).

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