Illegal Immigration Population in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Hellenic Migration Policy Institute: “Estimate of the illegal immigrant population in Greece This paper calculates the number of illegal immigrants in Greece based on the Number of Foreign Students, on arrest and Deportation Data, on the Estimates of Immigrant Associations, on the Estimates of Local Authorities, as well as the Estimates of the Hellenic Police Force. There is now an extensive bibliography on modern immigration to Greece, which covers a broad range of problems relating to the inflow of large numbers of illegal immigrants after 1990, part of whom have become legal. However, limited efforts have been made to estimate the illegal immigrant populations existing in the country. The only safe estimates available as to the number of immigrants are those deriving from the three legalisation schemes and the 2001 census. During the 2001 census, 672,191 immigrants were in Greece (including those legalized under the 1998 legalisation scheme and those illegally staying in the country). 367,860 illegal immigrants applied for status in the legalisation scheme of 2001, but only 217,000 qualified for residence and employment permits. In the third legalisation scheme of year 2005, there were 145,000 applications, far below those of the two previous schemes. As a result of the three legalisation schemes carried out, a total of 604,215 valid residence and employment permits were granted to immigrants in Greece in 2005 and 695,979 permits in 2006. However, these data do not provide an accurate estimate of the illegal immigrant population, given that it remains unknown. The Hellenic Migration Policy Institute (www.imepo.gr)’s mission is to research and understand the phenomenon of migration and conduct studies, which contribute to the design and implementation of Greece’s  immigration policy.