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29 March 2019

Report on the implementation of Directive 2003/109/EC on the status of long-term foreign residents

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The European Commission published its 2019 Report on the implementation of Directive 2003/109/EC concerning the status of third country nationals who are long-term residents, noting an overall improvement since the first report, published in 2011. The document also includes updates on the implementation of Directive 2011/51/EU, which extended the scope of the 2003 directive to beneficiaries of international protection.

Key points:

  • More EU long-term residence (LTR) permits have been granted, although the uptake is still low (3,055,411 EU LTR permits in 2017 compared to 1,208,557 in 2008), and 90 percent of those were issued by only four Member States. The low uptake is likely due to lack of information about LTR permits and the existence of “competing” national permit schemes.
  • LTR permit holders' intra-EU mobility right to exercise economic activities, study or obtain vocational training in another Member State is still underused, often due to restrictive conditions established by the states. In addition, the specific transposition measures of the equal treatment principle are still absent in several EU Member States.
  • The exclusion of third-country nationals admitted on temporary grounds continues to be an issue, as the directive still does not apply to individuals who have been granted a form of protection other than the one established in the Asylum Qualification Directive of 2011.
  • The Member States have established conditions to acquiring the LTR status, such as asking applicants to show stable and regular resources, equivalent at least to the national minimum wage. Most states also require compliance with integration conditions (such as language knowledge, civic knowledge courses), as well as proof of appropriate accommodation.
  • Despite the correct transposition of the six-month deadline to process applications, many Member States do not to comply with it in practice. In addition to the delays, disproportionate application fees have been the object of several infringement procedures by the European Commission against Member States.
  • Most EU Member States opted for the minimum five-year validity period for the residence permit, but a few have extended it. Absence from the territory of the EU for 12 consecutive months usually leads to the loss of the LTR status, although exceptional circumstances have also been laid out.
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Authors
The European Commission
Geographic area
EU Wide
Original source
Posted by
Valentina Savazzi
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