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MEPs upgrade single work and residence permit for non-EU nationals

23 March 2023, 19:41 CET
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MEPs upgrade single work and residence permit for non-EU nationals

Fruit pickers - Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

(BRUSSELS) - A European Parliament committee backed draft EU legislation Thursday to issue work and residence permits more quickly for nationals of third countries and to improve their rights.

The Civil Liberties Committee adopted a report updating the 2011 Single permit directive, which foresees a single administrative procedure for delivering a permit to third-country nationals wishing to live and work in an EU country. MEPs amended the Commission's proposal to include seasonal workers (check separate vote) or with temporary protection status. EU member states would retain the power to determine how many third-country nationals can enter their territory for work.

"We are making the procedure for obtaining a single permit as simple and fast as possible," said Parliament's rapporteur Javier Moreno Sanchez MEP: "This way it can become a useful tool for companies and workers from third countries, responding quickly to the needs of the labour market and strengthening legal paths to reach Europe in search of work. Secondly, we guarantee equal treatment of workers from third countries as compared to national workers, protecting them from exploitation and other illegal situations, while facilitating their full integration in our societies."

MEPs set a limit of 90 days for reaching a decision on an application for a single permit, from the current four months. This time limit would be shortened to 45 days if the applicant were selected through an EU talent partnership or already holds a single permit in another EU country. The single permit should be issued in paper format and be accessible in electronic format.

Under the revised rules, there will be a simplified procedure to allow the worker to change employer. MEPs also want the single permit holder to be able to keep it while being unemployed, for at least nine months, from the three months proposed by the Commission, so that they can search for new employment.

MEPs have agreed to open negotiations with the EU ministers on the final form of the law. The decision is expected to be announced at the 17-20 April European Parliament plenary session. If there are no objections in plenary, the talks may begin once the Council adopts its own negotiating position.

Further information, European Parliament

Procedure file

Draft report

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