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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

11 Mar 2016

Council adopts position on rules for third-country researchers

On 10 March 2016, the Council adopted its position at first reading on a draft directive aimed at making the European Union more attractive for students and researchers from third countries. The draft directive's objective is to advance the European Union in the global competition for talent and to promote Europe as a world centre of excellence for studies and training.

The draft directive provides harmonised conditions of entry and residence in the EU of researchers, students, trainees and volunteers taking part in the European Voluntary Service from third countries. It also seeks to improve the situation of researchers and students by the following means:

  • Family members of researchers will be allowed to accompany them and also benefit from the improved right of mobility within the EU.
  • Students from third countries will have the right to work at least 15 hours per week outside their study time in order to allow them to cover part of the cost of their studies.
  • Researchers and students from third countries may stay for at least nine months after having completed their research or studies to look for a job or set up a business.
  • Member states may decide to apply the new EU rules also to third-country nationals applying for participating in a pupil exchange scheme or educational project, volunteers other than those taking part in the European Voluntary Service or au pairing.

The European Parliament is expected to vote on the directive in second reading at the May 2016 plenary session. After the directive has been approved by the EP, the legal texts will be published in the Official Journal of the EU. The directive enters into force the day after its publication. Member states will then have two years to translate the directive into national law.

For further information:

Council of the EU - press release

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