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In December 2011 the Single Permit Directive was adopted. This new legislation introduces a single residence and work permit for all non-EU citizens. It will simplify the life of migrants applying to reside and work in the EU. It will also ensure that non-EU workers who legally reside in an EU country will enjoy a common set of rights based on equal treatment with nationals of the host EU country. EU countries will have to make sure that their national legislation is in line with this directive by early 2014.
Staying in the EU
Non-EU citizens who live legally in an EU country must be treated well and have their rights upheld. EU-wide rules enable non-EU citizens to become long-term residents and to bring their family members to live with them in their new countries. The EU's integration policy aims to grant these non-EU citizens rights and obligations similar to those of EU citizens.
The EU has established a border-free single travel zone called the Schengen area, which includes most EU countries (only Ireland and the United Kingdom have chosen not to be included). To enable people to travel freely in this area, a common visa policy has been agreed for short stays of up to three months. As part of this policy, EU Schengen area countries all issue the same short-term Schengen visa which allows travelers to move freely within the single travel zone.
More on the EU's global approach to migration
More on initiatives arising from the Stockholm Programme
More on EU immigration policy