EU Reforms Long-Term Residence Directive

The Council of the EU has agreed its negotiating mandate for updating the EU Long-Term Residents Directive.

This directive, from 2003, sets out the conditions under which third-country nationals can acquire EU long-term resident status. In order to acquire EU long-term resident status, third-country nationals have to legally and continuously reside in a member state for at least five years. This EU status exists alongside national long-term resident schemes.

On the basis of this agreed negotiation mandate, the Council can enter into interinstitutional talks with the European Parliament to conclude a final legal text.

Acquiring long-term resident status
  • The Council has agreed that third-country nationals can accumulate residence periods of up to two years in other member states in order to meet the requirements of the five-year residence period. However, in the event of an applicant having resided in another member state, the Council has decided to accept only certain types of legal residence permits, such as holders of EU Blue Cards or residence permits issued for the purpose of highly qualified employment.
  • Certain conditions will apply in order for applicants to be able to acquire long-term resident status. For instance, third-country applicants must provide evidence of stable and regular resources that are sufficient to maintain themselves and the members of their family, as well as sickness insurance. Member states may also require third-country nationals to comply with integration conditions.

Long-term resident status is permanent. However, it can be withdrawn in certain cases, for instance when a person has not had their main residence in the EU for a certain period of time.

Intra-EU mobility rights

Unlike national residence systems, EU long-term resident status grants status holders the possibility to move and reside in other EU countries, for instance for work or studies. This right to intra-EU mobility is not automatic but is subject to a number of conditions.

Equal treatment with EU nationals

EU long-term residents enjoy the same treatment as nationals with regard to access to employment and self-employment, education and vocational training and tax benefits, for example. There are a number of conditions, such as the requirement that holders of a residence permit live within the territory of the member state concerned.


Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue monitoring developments and sharing updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.