The Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced in its annual bulletin on immigration that the number of people who obtained approval to migrate (legal emigrants) and who acquired the status of emigrant abroad decreased by about 5.2%.
The bulletin explained that the number of Egyptian emigrants who obtained approval to migrate reached 348 emigrants (main and accompanied) in 2017, compared to 367 emigrants in 2016.
“Italy ranked first in the number of immigrants who obtained approval of migration abroad, where the number of emigrants was 154, representing 44.3% of the total number of Egyptian emigrants,” the bulletin stated.
The CAPMAS explained that the number of Egyptian graduates with bachelor’s degrees who obtained the approval to emigrate and acquired emigrant abroad status was 166 migrants, or 49.7% of the total number of migrants.
“Immigrants in the age group of 40-44 years came first in terms of number of Egyptians who obtained approval of emigration and who acquired the status of emigrant abroad,” according to the CAPMAS.
The CAPMAS stated that the number of migrants in the aforementioned age group reached 77 migrants, or 22.1%, followed by the age group 35-39 years with 74 migrants, or 21.3% of the total number of migrants.
Meanwhile, the bulletin did not include any statistics about illegal emigrants.
On the other hand, in November 2016, Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram said Egypt ranks first in illegal migration rates worldwide, revealing that the governorates of Kafr El-Sheikh, Gharbeya, and Fayoum rank first domestically in the number of youth who illegally migrated to Europe, most notably to France and Italy.
This led the Egyptian Parliament to approve, in October 2017, a law on illegal migration and human smuggling that entails tough penalties on whoever facilitates illegal migration.
The law was drafted by the cabinet in 2015 and was sent to parliament in June 2016 for discussion.
Parliament’s efforts to approve the law came following the boat that capsized off the coast of Rashid in the governorate of Beheira while heading to Europe, killing dozens of people.
In February, former minister of local development Abu Bakr El-Gendi announced that no illegal migration boats were recorded to have set off from Egyptian shores since 2016.
On the other hand, the CAPMAS stated that the number of migrants who acquired foreign citizenship reached 2,331 Egyptians in 2017, compared to 2,241 Egyptians in 2016—an increase of 4%.
The CAPMAS asserted that 1,201 Egyptians obtained permission of nationalisation while retaining their Egyptian nationality, representing 51.5%, while 1,130 Egyptians obtained permission to naturalise with no Egyptian nationality being retained, at a rate of 48.5% of the total.