For members


How many American citizens are ordered to leave European countries?

Hundreds of Americans citizens have been forced to leave EU and Schengen area countries in recent years for numerous reasons, mostly related to residency rules. Here's a look at the numbers.

How many American citizens are ordered to leave European countries?
Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

A small number of European countries are responsible for most orders to leave the Schengen area issued to American citizens in 2021 and 2022, figures from the EU have revealed.

In 2021, 1,690 US citizens were ordered to leave a Schengen area country.

And up until the end of September 2022, some 1,290 Americans were ordered to leave the EU and Schengen area, according to the latest available data from the EU statistical office Eurostat.

The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany and Belgium issued the vast majority of departure orders towards US citizens.

From the figures, which are communicated to Eurostat by national authorities, it emerges that the Netherlands alone issued 980 leave orders in 2021 and 770 in the first nine months of 2022.

Norway followed with 795 leave orders in 2021 and 105 in 2022 up to September. Then came Sweden, with 240 in 2021 and 135 in the same period of 2022. In comparison, France ordered 100 US citizens to leave in 2021 and 85 in the first nine months of 2022, and Germany 60 in 2021 and 25 in 2022.

Spain reported 10 cases in both years, Italy 5 in 2021 and 15 in 2022. For Austria, the figures were 15 in 2021 and 10 in the first nine months of 2022. Denmark issued 15 and 20 leave orders respectively, and Switzerland 40 and 20 respectively.

Netherlands vs Norway

Not all these people who received the orders, however, had to leave the country in which they were based.

The Dutch immigration agency (IND) said that an order to leave can be issued if a residence application has been “rejected” or “a previously granted residence permit has been withdrawn”.

The person has then an obligation to leave the country and all other countries of the Schengen area within a certain period (usually 4 weeks).

But it is still possible to apply and obtain a residence permit, or even to appeal a negative decision, while staying in the country, the IND said.

The discrepancy between the number of orders given and the number of people who actually then had to leave is reflected in Eurostat figures.

The data shows that the number of returns – US citizens that actually had to leave European countries – is smaller than the number of orders given: 510 in 2021 and 350 in the first nine months of 2022. For the Netherlands, the total was 80 in 2021 and 40 in 2022.

From information on actually number of people returned it emerges that Norway is the country that imposed most US citizens to leave: 635 in 2021 and 60 in the first nine months of 2022. For Sweden, the figure was 180 in 2021 and 85 in 2022 up to September.

Some 15 US citizens were returned from France both in 2021 and in the first nine months of 2022. For Germany the number was 10 and 5, for Denmark 15 and 10, for Italy and Spain zero and 10, for Switzerland zero.

Why are American citizens ordered to leave EU countries?

When it comes to the reasons why Americans are given orders to leave EU and Schengen area countries, well it’s largely for the same issues other non-EU citizens receive the same instructions. 

The Local recently published data about British citizens issued a leave order from Sweden post-Brexit. A spokesperson of the Swedish Migration Agency said these were due to “incomplete [residency] applications, late applications, applications where the applicant did not fulfil the requirement for residence status,” as well as “reasons unknown”.

The website of the French Ministry of Interior specifies that an order to leave can be issued, for instance, if a person has entered France or the Schengen area irregularly and does not have a residence permit, if they have stayed beyond the visa expiry or for more than 90 days in 180, if they have an expired residence permit, or this has been refused or withdrawn, or if they have worked without a work permit.

However, there are several cases in which a person cannot be forced to leave France. These include, among others, being a minor (unless parents are also subject to such a measure), having lived in France for more than 10 years, excluding periods as students, having habitually resided in France since a child, have been – and still be – married to a French citizen for at least 3 years.

An order to leave is not an expulsion, which occurs only when, in addition to be illegally present in the country, the person also represents “a serious threat to public order,” the French Ministry of Interior says. In this case, the expulsion usually leads to a ban from the country.

This article was written in collaboration with the Europe Street news site.

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For members


How to quickly get a US passport for a child born in Spain 

What are the steps to apply for a baby's US passport from Spain? How long does it take? Here’s all the experience-based information and tips American parents in Spain should know before beginning the process.

How to quickly get a US passport for a child born in Spain 

You’ve left the United States and moved to Spain. Now, you’ve added a baby to this fabulous new life. You’ll want to secure their U.S. citizenship and passport straight away.

If one parent is Spanish, your child is entitled to Spanish citizenship. If your child doesn’t qualify for citizenship by birth, they’ll need an American passport to declare their nationality before being registered in Spain.

This article lays out the qualifications for a U.S. passport and the steps to get one. Fortunately, the process is fairly simple, according to people who have done it.

Does your baby qualify for a U.S. passport?
Your newborn qualifies for U.S. citizenship and a U.S. passport under the following conditions.
– They were born within wedlock to two U.S. citizen parents.
– They were born within wedlock and one of the parents is a U.S. citizen, and lived at least five years in the Unites States, two of which were ager after 14 or
– They were born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen mother and non-citizen father.
– They were born out of wedlock to a U.S. citizen father and non-citizen mother.
When the parent who is a U.S. citizen is the father and the baby is born out of wedlock, there are a few additional steps required.

You’ll need to prove the blood relationship between your child and their father, attain a sworn statement from the father agreeing to give financial support until they are 18 years old and supply a written statement acknowledging paternity.

If your child does qualify for American citizenship, the next steps are pretty straightforward, although completing the required forms can be time-consuming.

What are the first steps when applying for a child’s U.S. passport from Spain?

The first step is applying for a Consular Report of Birth abroad (CRBA), which documents that your child is a U.S. citizen at birth. Any of the U.S. Consular Agencies in Spain can accept applications for Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and U.S. passports.

To begin, you’ll apply online. But remember, you’ll need original copies of any documents you upload; you’ll bring these to your in-person appointment at the consulate.
Documents you’ll need include:
·      Your child’s Spanish birth certificate.
·      Your marriage certificate, if married.
·      Divorce certificate, if divorced.
·      Evidence of U.S. parent’s citizenship, valid identification, and proof of physical presence in the United States.
·      Valid identification for non-U.S. citizen parent 
 “You will need proof of having been a long-term US resident in the past so think about what you can show (school transcripts, tax returns, etc.)” says Liz who moved from Scottsville Arizona to Málaga. Many Americans said this was the most time-intensive part.
Once you’ve completed and submitted your CRBA, you’re ready to make an appointment at a U.S. Consulate. The best way to make the appointment is by contacting the consulate directly, but make sure to wait for three days after submitting and paying for your CRBA. The fee is $100.00.

Remember, you must bring the original versions of every document you uploaded for your CRBA application, and your child must be present. Generally, both parents must also be present.

You can apply for your child’s passport at the same appointment. Be sure to complete the U.S. passport application prior to your appointment (including payment of a $135 fee) and bring the originals of all documents you uploaded for your passport application. Both parents must sign the application.
You’ll need to bring original copies and photocopies of the following documents:
·      One 2”x2” (5x5cm) passport picture for your child.
·      A document listing the legal guardians of your child.
·      Identification for both parents.
·      A physical copy of the completed passport application form (DS-11).

Important considerations:
For the CRBA, the U.S. parent(s) must report their physical presence in the United States, detailing each trip abroad. In other words, it’s crucial you don’t include time abroad in your list of days staying within the United States. If the dates are incorrect, the processing could be suspended until you correct the dates.

“The hardest part for us was to list every country we had ever visited, when and why.  Other than that, pretty easy. We did through the consulate in Valencia. Good luck,” says Sara, who moved from Boston, Massachusetts to Valencia.
It’s very important for both listed parents to attend the appointment. If only one parent can attend, you’ll need to submit a Statement of Consent. If you have sole legal custody of your child, you’ll need to bring proof, such as a court order.
Bring your child’s passport photo in a separate envelope (to not use it) but don’t staple it to the passport application.

How long does it take?
Generally, it takes approximately eight weeks to receive your child’s passport, which will be mailed to you. Be prepared to receive multiple mailings; your passport and citizenship papers will come separately. If you’ve requested both a passport book and a passport card, you’ll get 3 different mailings. If you’d like, you can pay for faster shipping.
If you have questions, don’t be shy about contacting your consulate. “It’s a simple process. Visit the US embassy website for any information you need. You can call or email any questions you have,” says Sarah, who moved from San Francisco to Barcelona.

Congratulations on your multinational family!