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How many foreign citizens does Germany order to leave the country each year?

The Local Germany
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How many foreign citizens does Germany order to leave the country each year?
A police officer with a gun patrols the German-Polish border. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Frank Hammerschmidt

Almost 32,000 people were told they had to leave Germany in the first nine months of 2023, new data from Eurostat has revealed. But where are they all from?


Between January and September 2023, German authorities told 31,975 foreign nationals to leave the country, according to data published at the end of December by the EU statistical office, Eurostat.

This marked a significant increase against the same period in 2022, when around 25,410 foreign nationals were asked to leave Germany, and in 2021, when 23,445 people were told to leave the country. 

Citizens of Turkey and Syria were among the foreign citizens who faced deportion most often.

The number of Syrians living in the Bundesrepublik spiked during the refugee crisis of 2015 and 2016, and as of 2022 an estimated 900,000 Syrian nationals were believed to be living in the country.

Over the past few years, a record number of these former asylum seekers have naturalised as Germans - but a significant number have also faced orders to leave, Eurostat data reveals.

In the first nine months of 2023, 4,520 Syrian nationals were ordered to leave Germany.

READ ALSO: What is the EU's plan to make freedom of movement easier for non-EU residents?

This was almost triple the number of Syrians (1,650) who were asked to leave Germany in the first three quarters of 2022. 

Given that Syria remains a war-torn country, the likelihood is that these Syrian nationals were given a 'Duldung', or notice of toleration, which would allow them to stay in the country until it is safe to leave. 


The number of Turkish nations asked to leave Germany in 2023 also numbers into the thousands, with 2,620 Turkish passport-holders being denied residence rights.

Germany is home to the largest Turkish diaspora in the world, with around 3 million people with a Turkish background living in the country. 

What about English-speaking countries?

According to the Eurostat data, 690 Indians had to leave Germany in 2023, making it the English-speaking country with the highest number of citizens facing deportation from the country. 

When it came to other countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States, the numbers were much lower, with just 25 people from the USA and no Australians or Canadians asked to leave over this period. 

The Eurostat data also revealed that countries across Europe ordered more than 1,000 Britons to leave their territories in 2023, suggesting that nationals of the country are facing some immigration issues in the EU after Brexit. 

In total EU countries plus Schengen area countries including Norway and Switzerland ordered 1,040 British citizens to leave their territories in the first nine months of 2023. 


In Germany, however, just 15 British citizens were told they needed to leave the country within this period - a relatively low figure compared to other countries.

READ ALSO: In Numbers - Hundreds of Britons across Europe given orders to leave

Eurostat doesn't provide data on why people were asked to leave the country, but potential reasons include the rejection of a visa application, the expiry of a previous visa with no renewal, or an expulsion due to a criminal act. 

For British nationals who were in the EU before Brexit, a further reason could be the denial of their application to stay. 

The low number of Brits who were asked to leave Germany after 2021 is probably due to the fact that Germany opted for a 'declaratory' system, meaning that UK citizens simply had to declare their residence in the country to recieve a new status. 

In contrast, countries like Sweden, France and the Netherlands opted for a constitutive system, meaning UK citizens effectively had to apply for a new residence permit and faced greater hurdles.  



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