European Commission plans to simplify the granting of residence and work permits to qualified workers from third world countries 2022
European Commission plans to simplify the granting of residence and work permits to qualified workers from third world countries 2022

European Commission plans to simplify the granting of residence and work permits to qualified workers from third world countries

The European Commission has made a statement that it plans to solve the problem of a lack of skilled workers in EU states. This measure should make the EU a more attractive place for citizens from outside the alliance. Currently, proposals are being considered to change the conditions for issuing residence permits and work permits to foreigners.

The EC informed that the EU now requires workers with certain skills in 28 professions. Among the sectors: hospitality, healthcare, tourism, information technology and logistics.

Main proposals

The key objective of the innovations is to allow non-EU nationals to apply for long-term residence in the country where they currently live, provided they have lived and worked in the alliance for several years. Despite the clarity of the rules, it will not be easy to obtain a residence permit and all the associated benefits.

Currently, applicants for long-term residence in the EU are required to «legally» reside in an alliance country for at least 5 years. It is not allowed to be absent from the chosen state for more than 6 months in a row and 10 months for the whole period of residence. The residency applicant must also have sufficient financial resources and health insurance. In some EU countries applicants must be prepared to take a language test. If the holder is absent from the EU for more than 12 months after obtaining a residence permit, their long-term resident status may be revoked.

Other proposals from the European Commission include:

  • counting the time spent by foreigners as students;
  • counting all periods of residence of foreigners in EU countries;
  • automatically allowing children who are born or adopted in EU Member States in which the parents hold a long-term EU residence permit to reside.

Among all the innovations, perhaps the most significant will be the permission to combine in one application a work permit and a residence permit for non-Alliance nationals who come to the EU for employment.

Why is change necessary?

A study conducted by the European Commission has shown that not all non-EU citizens have been able to benefit from the existing rules so far. Employers are also in an uncomfortable situation: in most EU countries, they still have to prove that they are in search of a suitable applicant for a job.

Ilva Johansson, the European commissioner specializing in internal affairs, estimates that about 20 percent of the 23 million non-EU citizens living in the EU have a long-term residence permit. In turn, less than a third of the EU’s 10 million citizens hold long-term residence permits.

The proposals are still being considered by the European Parliament. There is a possibility that they will be amended or postponed for a certain period of time.

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