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EU announces new immigration rules for Third-country nationals 

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The European Union (EU) has updated its immigration rules for country nationals which indicates that they must legally and continuously reside in an EU member state for at least five years, and this status must coexist with national long-term resident schemes.

Third-country nations are countries or territories that are not a member of the European Union or those whose citizens do not enjoy the European Union’s right to free movement. Nigeria is an example of a Third-country nation.

This directive was given by EU member states, during a meeting of the Council’s permanent representatives committee, where they established their negotiating mandate for revising the EU long-term resident’s directive.

ThePressNG learns that this directive outlines the criteria for third-country nationals to obtain EU long-term resident status.

Under the Council’s position, third-country nationals can accumulate residence periods of up to two years in other member states to meet the five-year requirement.

However, certain types of legal residence permits, like EU Blue Cards or permits for highly qualified employment, will be accepted for residency in another member state.

Applicants for long-term resident status must demonstrate stable resources, and sickness insurance, and may need to fulfil integration conditions.

Although this status is permanent, it can be revoked if the person has not had their primary residence in the EU for a specified period.

EU long-term residents are granted intra-EU mobility rights, enabling them to move and reside in other EU countries for work or studies, subject to specific conditions.

They will enjoy equal treatment with EU nationals in areas such as employment, education, and tax benefits.

In 2020, over ten million third-country nationals held long-term or permanent residence permits out of the 23 million legally residing in the EU.

The proposed update aims to address underutilization, complexity in acquisition conditions, and barriers to intra-EU mobility rights.

The Council’s negotiating mandate will allow for discussions with the European Parliament to finalize the legal text.

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