New EU rules for third-country researchers and students

by Aurelia Chaise

The Council's Permanent Representatives Committee approved a deal reached with the European Parliament on a draft directive aimed at making the European Union more attractive for students and researchers from third countries.

The draft directive provides harmonised conditions of entry and residence in the EU of researchers, students, trainees and volunteers taking part in the European Voluntary Service from third countries. It also seeks to improve the situation of researchers and students by the following means:

  • The mobility within the EU of third-country researchers or students is improved: third-country nationals working as researchers or pursuing studies in one member state may, in certain cases, enter and carry out part of their research or studies in another member state upon simple notification. Furthermore, the period of mobility for researchers has been increased to six months making the European Union a more attractive destination for third-country nationals.
  • Family members of researchers will be allowed to accompany them and also benefit from the improved right of mobility within the EU.
  • Students from third countries will have the right to work at least 15 hours per week outside their study time in order to allow them to cover part of the cost of their studies.
  • Researchers and students from third countries may stay for at least nine months after having completed their research or studies to look for a job or set up a business.
  • Member states may decide to apply the new EU rules also to third-country nationals applying for participating in a pupil exchange scheme or educational project, volunteers other than those taking part in the European Voluntary Service or au pairing.

More information

Commission proposal for a directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country researchers and students from 25 March 2013


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