Migration and Home Affairs

Study and Research

The EU faces a need of highly skilled people and, has thus to become an even more attractive location in the global competition for talent.

The Students and researchers Directive adopted on 11 May 2016 repeals the previous directive on students and the directive on researchers and remedies their identified weaknesses mainly in relation to admission conditions, rights, procedural safeguards, job-seeking possibilities for students and researchers, as well as intra-EU mobility. It ensures increased transparency and legal certainty by offering a single and coherent legal framework for the different categories of non-EU nationals that it covers.

Legal framework

Students and researchers Directive sets the conditions of admission and rights of non-EU nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training and voluntary service (under the European Voluntary Service/the European Solidarity Corps), as well as optional rules for school pupils and au pairs.

Objectives

  • promote the EU as a world centre of excellence by facilitating the admission of non-EU nationals into the EU for studies, research and training
  • advance the EU in the global competition for talent and lead to an increase in the EU’s overall competitiveness and growth rates
  • promote the generation and acquisition of knowledge and skills
  • foster people-to-people contacts and mobility
  • develop solidarity and contribute to a stronger social cohesion by facilitating the admission of non EU-nationals for the European Voluntary Service/the European Solidarity Corps
  • contribute to mutual enrichment and familiarity with other cultures for the migrants, their country of origin and the EU countries, while strengthening cultural links and enhancing cultural diversity

More information on the key provisions of the directive in the Summary of EU legislation –Students and researchers Directive.

Policy timeline

  • 2016 

Students and researchers Directive (2016/801/EU) is adopted.

  • 2013 

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing and impact assessment.

  • 2011

Report from the Commission on the application of Directive (2004/114/EC) on the conditions of admissions of third-country nationals for the purpose of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service.  

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the application of Directive (2005/71/EC) on a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for the purposes of scientific research.

  • 2005  

The Researchers Directive (2005/71/EC) is adopted.

  • 2004

The Students Directive (2004/114/EC) is adopted.

Documents