RESIDENCY: EU reaches agreement on revised Single Permit rules

As published on: smithstonewaters.com, Friday 5 January, 2024.

On 18 December 2023, the European Commission, Parliament and Council reached a political agreement on the revised Single Permit Directive.

The updated rules set in place a single application procedure for a combined EU work and residence permit (a ‘single permit’). The revised rules provide for a common set of rights for workers from non-EU countries, regarding working conditions, social security, recognition of qualifications, and tax benefits.

The new rules aim to streamline the application procedure for the single permit, while making it more effective and improving the safeguarding of non-EU workers’ rights.

The EU recognises that in order to remain globally competitive, it must be able to attract global talent, address labour market needs and foster growth and innovation.

In April 2022, the European Commission presented the Skills and Talent package: an ambitious and sustainable outlook to legal migration. To improve the previous legislation on single permits, this package included a proposal for a recast of the Single Permit Directive, alongside a proposal for a revised Long-Term Residence Directive – where negotiations are still ongoing with co-legislators.

Once implemented, these updated rules will deliver on legal, operational and policy initiatives that will benefit the EU’s economy, strengthen cooperation with international partners and improve overall migration management in the long-term.

Overview of the new Single Permit rules

Once adopted, the revised legislation will:

  • Enable non-EU nationals to apply for a single permit not only from non-EU countries but also from a Member State if they already reside in that Member State on the basis of a residence permit.
  • Introduce faster application procedures to facilitate international recruitment.
  • Provide for stronger protection of workers from non-EU countries, by introducing the right to change employer and a minimum period of unemployment during which their single permit should not be withdrawn; this means that within the period of validity of the permit, workers will have the right to change employers while continuing to reside legally in the Member State.
  • Ensure that beneficiaries of protection in accordance with national law can benefit from equal treatment rights if they are allowed to work.
  • Include new obligations for Member States to provide for inspections, monitoring mechanisms and sanctions against employers who violate the rights of non-EU workers, including equal treatment rights.

Next steps
The political agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council is now subject to formal approval by the co-legislators. Once published in the Official Journal, the Directive will enter into force 20 days after publication and Member States will have 2 years to transpose the provisions of the Directive into national law.


Citizenship and residency EU Single Permit

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