The European Commission welcomes the political agreement reached on 18 December between the European Parliament and the Council on the revised Single-Permit Directive.
These updated rules set in place a single application procedure for a combined EU work and residence permit (a ‘single permit').
Annually, 2 to 3 million nationals from non-EU countries come to the EU legally, in contrast to more than 300,000 irregular arrivals in 2022. Nearly 24 million third country nationals live in the EU. A well-managed legal migration providing legal alternatives for people to come to the EU has an impact on reducing irregular migration, boost the economy, as well as strengthening cooperation with international partners.
Legal migration is a key pillar in the comprehensive approach to manage migration in a fair and dignified way, as set out in the New Pact on Migration and Asylum. In April 2022, the Commission presented the Skills and Talent package: an ambitious and sustainable outlook to legal migration. To improve the previous legislation on single permits, this package included a proposal for a recast of the Single-Permit Directive, alongside a proposal for a revised Long-Term Residence Directive – where negotiations are still ongoing with co-legislators. Once implemented, these updated rules will deliver on legal, operational and policy initiatives that will benefit the EU's economy, strengthen cooperation with international partners and improve overall migration management in the long-term.
To remain globally competitive, the EU must be able to attract talent to those areas where it needs the most. Addressing labour market needs with the right talent and skills will foster growth and innovation . The new rules will contribute to this objective by streamlining the application procedure for the single permit, while making it more effective for non-EU workers and employers. This revision also improves the safeguarding of non-EU workers' rights and their protection from labour exploitation.
Once adopted, this revised legislation will:
Proposal for a Directive on a single application procedure for a single permit for non-EU nationals to reside and work in the territory of a Member State
Commission Website on legal migration