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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

12 May 2016

EP approves new entry and residence rules for non-EU students and researchers

On 11 May 2016, the European Parliament approved new harmonised EU entry and residence rules to make it easier and more attractive for people from third countries to study or do research at EU universities.

The new rules merge two existing directives (one on students and one on researchers) to ensure that:

  • students and researchers may stay at least nine months after finishing their studies or research in order to look for a job or to set up a business, which should also ensure that Europe benefits from their skills,
  • students and researchers may move more easily within the EU during their stay. In future, they will not need to file a new visa application, but only to notify the member state to which they are moving, for example to do a one-semester exchange. Researchers will also be able to move for longer periods than those currently allowed,
  • researchers have the right to bring their family members with them and these family members are entitled to work during their stay in Europe, and
  • students have the right to work at least 15 hours a week.

The new directive also provides for uniform entry conditions and better protection for interns and volunteers under the European Volunteer Scheme during their stay and provides optional provisions for other volunteers, school pupils and third-country au pairs.

Following its approval by the EP, the directive enters into force the day after its publication in the European Official Journal. Member States will then have two years in which to transpose its provisions into their national laws.

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