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Changes in immigration status and purpose of stay: an overview of EU Member States’ approaches: EMN Synthesis Report

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Abstract

This study[1] provides an overview and analysis of the different legal frameworks, procedures and practices in place in the Member States to enable third-country nationals to change migration status, as well as the conditions associated with such changes. It also looks at existing obstacles and good practices.

The number and type of migration statuses differs between the Member States. Some statuses are EU-regulated and therefore present in nearly all Member States (e.g., family, education, research), with the exception of those which have opted out or are still in the process of transposing the relevant legislation, while others are national statuses and hence dependent on the Member State’s migration policy and system. All Member States have one or more national statuses related to employment.

All Member States have at least some legal possibilities for change of status in place. Some allow for changes from and into almost all existing categories, while others are more restrictive. The main driver for Member States to allow for status changes relates to economic considerations.

Changes from education reasons into another status are those most often legally allowed in the Member States and they are also the changes which are most often made in the EU (6% of persons with this residence permit changed status in 2014).

Changes from remunerated activities are the second most frequent changes made in the EU (4% of persons with a residence permit for remunerated activities changed status in 2014).

Although often legally possible, changes from family reasons are least frequent (annually around 1% of persons with this residence permit changed their status in 2010-2014).

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[1] The Synthesis Report was prepared on the basis of National Contributions from 24 EMN NCPs (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic,  Estonia, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom)

Author: European Migration Network
Publisher: Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission
Date of Publication: 03 August 2016
Geographical focus: Europe

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