Eu Legislation

Single application procedure for a residence and work permit and a common set of rights for Non-EU Member Country workers



Proposal of 23 October 2007 for a Council Directive on a single application procedure for a single permit for Non-EU Member Country nationals to reside and work in the territory of a Member State and on a common set of rights for Non-EU Member Country workers legally residing in a Member State.


This proposal applies to Non-EU Member Country nationals seeking to be admitted to an EU Member State in order to stay and work there and who are already resident and working there. It provides for:

  • a single residence and work permit;
  • a single application procedure for this permit;
  • the rights attached to this permit;
  • a set of rights for all Non-EU Member Country workers already admitted but who have not yet been granted long-term resident status.

The duration of this permit and the conditions under which it is granted, renewed and cancelled are decided by the Member States.
This proposal does not concern Non-EU Member Country nationals:

  • who have been posted under a provision of services contract to the territory of a Member State other than that in which they normally work;
  • who have been transferred within their company;
  • who are seasonal workers;
  • who have applied for refugee status;
  • who have acquired long-term resident status;
  • whose expulsion has been suspended.

Each Member State will designate an authority competent to receive applications and issue the single permit. This authority processes all applications and gives reasons for negative decisions; if necessary, it will involve other authorities under the conditions laid down by national law. The applicant receives written notification of the competent authority's decision and may challenge the decision before the courts.

The format of the single permit is prescribed in Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002 of 13 June 2002 establishing a single residence permit for Non-EU Member Country nationals.

The Member States will not issue any additional permits.

This permit allows Non-EU Member Country nationals to:

  • enter, re-enter and stay in the issuing Member State;
  • move freely within that Member State;
  • pass through other Member States;
  • exercise the activities authorised under the single permit.

Non-EU Member Country workers (who have been admitted to a Member State and are authorised to work there) enjoy equal treatment with nationals as regards:

  • working conditions;
  • membership of a labour union or employers' or professional organisation;
  • education and vocational training;
  • recognition of diplomas;
  • social security, including health care;
  • access to goods and services, including procedures for obtaining housing and the assistance afforded by employment offices;
  • tax benefits.

Member States may restrict equality of treatment with regard to study grants, access to public housing and payment of unemployment benefits. They may also make access to education and vocational training conditional on appropriate competence in the language of the host country.

Every year the Member States will communicate to the Commission and the other Member States statistics on the number of Non-EU Member Country nationals for whom residence/work permits have been granted, refused or renewed, indicating their nationality and occupation. The Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council every 3 years on the application of the Directive and will propose any changes it deems necessary.


In its action plan on legal immigration, presented on 21 December 2005 and approved by the European Council on 14 and 15 December 2006, the Commission proposed to present 5 legislative proposals concerning different categories of Non-EU Member Country nationals and a general framework. This proposal defines the legal basis for that general framework.


ProposalOfficial JournalProcedure

COM(2007) 638_Consultation CNS/2007/0229

Last updated: 08.01.2008