Draft immigration Convention
The Commission has tabled a draft Convention that
would grant the same rights enjoyed by EU citizens to those from
non-EU countries living long-term in the EU.
These minimum rights include access to work,
education and housing, and the right to join trade unions. But the
Convention, which has to be adopted unanimously, would not cover
asylum seekers or refugees granted temporary protection under the
The draft Convention applies to third country
(non-EU) nationals wanting to stay for more than 3 months in a
Member State. It will be possible for such nationals to work if a
vacancy in a Member State cannot be filled quickly by an EU
national or a national of a third country already resident in that
Member State for a long period. Seasonal workers could work for up
to six months, but would then have to return to their home
Working on a self-employed basis would be possible
if the person has adequate resources and if the business would have
a positive impact on the labour market. The applicant would be
entitled to a residence permit, renewable every two years.
Non EU-nationals would have access to studies and
vocational training courses and be entitled to reside in the
relevant Member State for the duration of the course. Those wishing
to remain afterwards would have to return to their home country and
submit another application. Trainees in company placements,
pensioners, retired persons, artists and writers would be able to
obtain a residence permit, renewable annually, if they can support
themselves financially and are covered by social security.
In some circumstances, there would be a right to
have other family members join the non-EU nationals and reside in
the Member State in question. However, spouses and children would
have to wait six months before beginning work there.