Simplified EU Single Permit Rules Begin on May 20

Simplified EU Single Permit Rules Begin on May 20

On 12 April 2024, the European Council formally adopted the revision of the European Union’s Single Permit Directive, marking a significant step forward in simplifying the migration process for non-EU nationals.

The updated directive, which revises the original 2011 version, sets out streamlined administrative procedures for obtaining a single permit that grants both the right to work and the right to reside in the EU. 

Effective 20 May 2024, EU Member States will start issuing these permits under a simplified procedure, making it easier for foreign nationals to live and work in the European Union (EU).

Under the revised Single Permit Directive, foreign nationals can obtain a permit that acts both as a residence and work permit without having to undergo prolonged and strict procedures.

Once the faster and easier application process for single permits is implemented, it is reasonable to expect an increase in the number of single permits in the EU.

Another significant change that is set to take place is that non-EU nationals will no longer have to leave the EU member state they are in to apply for the permit. Instead, they will be able to apply for a single permit while in an EU country, provided that they already live and hold a residence permit in that state.

Adopting the new Single Permit Directive is a significant step towards reducing the administrative burden on non-EU individuals looking to live and work in the EU, thus adding to a more dynamic and competitive European economy.

Key Changes to Single Permit

As the revised EU Single Permit Directive takes effect, it promises a smoother and more transparent migration process for non-EU nationals, fostering a more inclusive and flexible labour market across the European Union.

Application: A non-EU national will not need to leave the EU Member State they are in, to apply.  If the single permit is issued, it will serve as both residence and work permit.

Application Procedure: The revised rules set out stricter deadlines for the decision to issue a permit.  This should take place within three months from the date an application is received.  In case the member state needs to check first, for example, if the employee’s profile is needed in the domestic/local market, this should take place within 90 days.  These time constraints may be exceptionally extended by 30 days.

Change of Employer: A single permit holder will be allowed to change employer.  A change of employer may be subject to a notification obligation to the authorities and member states may carry out a labour market check.  Member states may also require a minimum period during which the single permit holder is required to work with the first employer.

Short-term Unemployment: In case a single permit holder becomes unemployed, the individual will be able to remain in the territory of the member state given that the total duration of unemployment does not exceed three months during the validity of the single permit or six months after two years of holding the permit. 

EU members will have two years from the day the new regulation goes into effect to amend their national legislation if needed.

Strengthens Protections for Foreign Workers

EU authorities have emphasized that the new directive will significantly enhance the protection of foreign workers against exploitation.

Member states will face limited ability to impose restrictive rules on the rights and working conditions of foreign workers, ensuring that they receive equal treatment as EU workers.

The law expands the rights of foreign workers and takes decisive action in critical areas such as equal access to private rental housing, addressing long-standing demands from civil society organisations.

What are your thoughts on the government measures to curb migration? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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