In a significant development, EU Member States have come to an agreement on a negotiating mandate aimed at revising the EU Long-Term Residents Directive.
This directive outlines the criteria for third-world-country nationals to attain long-term resident status within the European Union.
Proposed updates encompass a more adaptable approach to residency requirements, targeted integration measures, and improved intra-EU mobility.
These modifications are anticipated to bring advantages to millions of third-country nationals residing in the EU.
Key Highlights of EU Long-Term Residency Rules
- Streamlined Residency Requirements: The proposed updates introduce a more flexible approach to residency requirements. Third-country nationals would be allowed to accrue residence periods of up to two years in other EU Member States, contributing towards the overall five-year residency requirement. This provision aims to facilitate the attainment of long-term resident status for individuals who have moved within the EU for work or study purposes.
- Targeted Integration Measures: The directive underscores the significance of integration for long-term residents, urging Member States to implement integration measures tailored to specific needs and circumstances. These measures may include language courses, cultural orientation, and civic education.
- Enhanced Intra-EU Mobility: EU long-term residents will maintain the right to intra-EU mobility, permitting them to relocate and reside in other EU Member States for work, study, or other purposes. However, this right is contingent on certain conditions, such as labor market assessments by Member States to safeguard against negative impacts on domestic labor markets.
- Enduring Rights and Protections: Once granted, long-term resident status becomes permanent, affording individuals long-term stability and security of residence within the EU. Nevertheless, the directive also outlines specific circumstances under which this status may be revoked, such as prolonged absences from the EU or engagement in activities that pose a threat to public security or order.
Implications for Third-Country Nationals
The proposed updates to the Long-Term Resident Status Directive signify a positive stride toward fostering a more inclusive and welcoming environment for third-country nationals within the EU. Through the streamlining of residency requirements, promotion of integration, and preservation of the right to intra-EU mobility, the directive aims to empower non-EU citizens to contribute meaningfully to EU society and realize their full potential.
According to Eurostat data, as of the end of 2020, approximately 23 million third-country nationals were legally residing in the EU, constituting 5.1% of the EU population. Among these individuals, over ten million held a long-term permanent residence permit. These figures underscore the growing role of non-EU citizens within the EU’s social fabric.