Agency for Fundamental Rights Urges EU to Simplify Rules for Obtaining Long-Term Residency Status

September 12, 2023
Agency for Fundamental Rights Urges EU to Simplify Rules for Obtaining Long-Term Residency Status The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has issued a number of recommendations to European and national authorities on access to rights for people with long-term residence status. term in the EU. According to the report, which included 51 experts and interviewed 267 third-country nationals, the EU should make long-term status more attractive for applicants, which could be done by simplifying application rules and provide corresponding guidance. European status provides more rights than national regimes in the long term and allows people to move within the EU. To boost its take-up, the EU should simplify the rules and publish guidance on applicants' next steps. The report acknowledges that EU countries could provide better information on long-term residence in the EU. To apply for a long-term EU permit, migrants must prove they have resided continuously in a member state for a period of five years and have a stable income, a common challenge for many applicants. Migrants often have difficulty providing proof of accommodation and also have difficulty meeting the high language requirements placed on applicants. The same report also suggests that residency and income requirements should be simplified to make the status more accessible. FRA experts recommend relaxing housing and language requirements for residency status and making language training more accessible to those seeking long-term residency status term. Furthermore, third-country nationals often face obstacles in finding jobs that match their qualifications. The EU could propose legislation to promote rapid and affordable recognition systems for qualifications obtained abroad. The EU could also amend the rules to ensure that there is no discrimination in applicants' access to employment and education. “Recognise qualifications and improve access to jobs and education, including by promoting quick and affordable qualification recognition systems and furthering work to prevent discrimination in access to jobs and education,” another recommendation from FRA’s report reads. The same point emphasizes that the EU should ensure easier access to status for child applicants and improve the intra-EU mobility of long-term residents. Furthermore, the same report wants to find a solution for temporarily protected persons, pointing out that the EU could allow temporarily protected persons who have fled Ukraine and are now living in the EU to apply for status EU. This means that the biggest advantage of the European system is the right to move within the EU. However, in most cases this measure is not used and the Agency calls on the EU to simplify the rules and promote this measure for long-term residents.