The European Council adopted a revision to the 2011 single-permit directive, paving the way for an improved single work and stay permit for non-EU nationals.

Key Points:

• The directive currently in place was designed to attract additional skills and talent to the EU to address shortcomings within the legal migration system. It provides an application process for EU countries to issue this single permit and establishes common rights for workers from third countries.

• The new revised law will shorten the application procedure for a permit to reside for the purpose of work in a member state’s territory and aims to strengthen the rights of third-country workers by allowing a change of employer and a limited period of unemployment.

• Member states have two years to transfer the directive into national law and will maintain the ability to decide which and how many third-country workers to admit to their labor market.

• The directive will enter into force on the 20th day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Background: The Single-Permit Directive is directed at non-EU nationals working in the EU and aims to create an environment where these individuals are treated equally regarding their working conditions, social security and tax benefits, and recognizing their unique qualifications. The Commission originally proposed an update to the current single-permit directive in 2022. The new agreement is part of the “skills and talent” package, which addresses shortcomings in legal migration policy and aims to attract greater foreign skilled talent.

BAL Analysis: The EU faces persistent labor shortages in a variety of sectors at all skill levels, and the updated regulation should boost international recruitment of talent. In addition, the updated rule provides third-country workers with more rights and equal treatment to EU workers to reduce labor exploitation.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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