The Members of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee have agreed today on a draft legislation that updates the way single work and residence permits for third-country nationals are issued.
Without any abstentions, 47 votes in favour, and 13 against, a report updating the 2011 Single permit directive has been approved by the LIBE committee, which amongst others establishes that there should be a single administrative procedure in the EU, for the issuance of work and residence permits for non-EU nationals, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Commenting on the changes set to happen soon the rapporteur Javier Moreno Sanchez said that the procedure for obtaining a permit will become simpler and faster, in order for it to be more useful for companies and workers, according to the needs of the labour market in the Member States.
“Secondly, we guarantee equal treatment of workers from third countries as compared to national workers, protecting them from exploitation and other illegal situations, while facilitating their full integration in our societies,” he said.
The decision comes at a time when all EU Member States are on the hunt for foreign workers, in particular, in fields like health care, IT, agriculture, and construction. Several of the EU countries have already announced changes to their laws on foreign employers, in order to lure more third-country citizens to move to their territory and work in fields where there is a lack of workers.
According to a press release issued by the Committee following the meeting held on March 23, the single permit legislation has been amended to include several changes.
“MEPs amended the Commission’s proposal to include seasonal workers or with temporary protection status. EU member states would retain the power to determine how many third-country nationals can enter their territory for work,” the press release points out.
At the same time, the MEPs have agreed that decisions on applications for a single permit must be taken within a limit of 90 days, unlike the current limit which is as long as four months.
Moreover, the MEPs think that the 90-day limit should be further shortened by half, to 45 days, in cases when the applicant is selected through an EU talent partnership or when one already owns a single permit that he/she has obtained in another EU country.
“The single permit should be issued in paper format and be accessible in electronic format,” the LIBE Committee has agreed.
For employees who have already settled and are working in the EU, but who want to change their employer, they will be able to do so through a simplified procedure. In cases when they are left jobless, they will be able to keep their permit, for at least nine months, while searching for another job. The current period of permitted unemployment currently is as short as only three months.
Now, in order for the law to be finalized, negotiations will be opened with the EU ministers, but they should first be approved by the European Parliament set to be held during the plenary meeting of on April 17-20.
There are several other ways to move to the EU for work purposes, including here with an EU Blue Card, and other types of work visas offered individually by the Member States.
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