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Migration and Home Affairs

To have a stable and secure residence status, granting full access to work, education, and social security, is important for the integration of non-EU nationals into the society where they live.

This is why the Directive on the status of non-EU nationals who are long-term residents establishes that a person who has lived legally in an EU country for an uninterrupted period of five years, can obtain the status of long-term resident.

It is dependent upon the person - having a stable and regular source of income, health insurance and, when required by the EU country, having complied with integration measures. The person must also not constitute a threat to public security or public policy.

Legal framework

Directive on the status of non-EU nationals who are long-term residents sets the conditions under which non-EU nationals can obtain the status of long-term residents, which grant them a set of uniform rights, similar to those enjoyed by EU citizens.

More information on the key provisions of the directive is available in the Summary of EU legislation – Long term residence.

Objectives

  • ensure that non-EU nationals who have lived in an EU country for at least five years have a permanent and secure residence status
  • grant these non-EU nationals a set of rights that are similar to those enjoyed by EU citizens, in terms of work, education, social security, access to goods and services
  • make it easier for these non-EU nationals to move to other EU countries to work and study

Policy timeline

  • 2019

Second implementation report, linked to the Fitness check on legal migration.

  • 2011

Directive (2011/51/EU) amends the Directive to also cover beneficiaries of international protection is adopted.

  • 2011

First implementation report on the Directive 20003/109/EC.

  • 2003

Directive (2003/109/EC) on the status of non-EU nationals who are long-term residents is adopted.

  • 2001

Proposal for a Council Directive concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents.

Documents