EU Proposes New Simplified Rules Get Single Residence and Work Permit

EU Proposes New Simplified Rules Get Single Residence and Work Permit

The EU wants to make it easier for non-EU workers to obtain combined work and residence permits.

The move comes in an effort to promote legal migration of non-EU nationals for work purposes and to address the current EU labour shortages.

The simplification of the rules for obtaining a Single Permit that allows the holder to work and reside in the EU was backed by the European Union Parliament. However, the new rules need to be approved by the EU Council before they become effective.

The changes include faster decisions on applications, the possibility of changing the employer, and extended stay for unemployed Single Permit holders.

The new rules have to now formally be approved by the Council. Member states will have two years after the directive comes into force to introduce the changes to their national laws. This legislation does not apply in Denmark and Ireland.

Under The New Legislation

The European Union Parliament backed the simplified set of regulations to obtain a Single Permit.

Application Decisions Within 90 Days 

The Members of the EU Parliament were successful in establishing a 90-day deadline for a decision on applications for a single permit, as opposed to the current four months. 

Procedures on exceptionally difficult files may be extended by 30 days, and the time required to provide a visa is not included. 

The new laws will make it possible for a holder of a valid residence permit to apply for a Single Permit from within the territory, allowing someone who is legally residing in the EU to update their legal status without having to return to their home country.

Change of Employer

The new laws will allow single permit holders to move employers, occupations, and work sectors. During negotiations, MEPs insisted that a simple notification from the new employer would suffice. The national authorities will have 45 days to resist the modification. MEPs have also restricted the conditions in which this authorisation may be submitted to labour market tests.

However, EU Member States may enforce a six-month restriction on employer changes, with exemptions granted in instances of employer contract violations.


Non-EU nationals in the EU who are unemployed and hold a single permit will have up to three months to secure new employment before their right to work is revoked. For those whose permit has been valid for more than two years, this period extends to six months.

If a single permit holder is unemployed for more than three months, member states may require them to provide evidence that they have sufficient resources to support themselves without using the social assistance system.

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