Sunday, October 24, 2010

EU MEPs back single immigration work and residence permit

The European Union Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee (CLC) is backing a single permit directive which will allow citizens of non-EU countries obtain a work and residence permit through a "one-stop shop". The CLC directive is in keeping with the European Union's proposed single permit blue card immigration scheme for the European Union.

Non-EU citizens living and working in a European country under this directive will be allowed to travel freely between member states and will give them equal rights to EU nationals in many areas. The equality measures cover pay, working hours, social security, etc.

The European Union member state will have the right to decide whether an application for a single permit should be lodged in a non-EU country or within the member state. If the application is not lodged in a non-EU country, employers will be required to apply for the worker's permit.

The CLC directive coincides with the European Union's proposed blue card immigration scheme, a single EU permit with some similarities to the United States green card. The US Green Card is a permanent visa; The EU Blue Card in comparison is a termporary visa.

The EU blue card would allow non-EU citizens to live and work in the European Union, with the ability, after a certain period of time, to take a job in another member state. Blue card visa holders will also be allowed to bring immediate family members with them. It remains to be seen how successful the EU Blue Card will be in practice. If it proves to be too difficult to come under the EU Blue Card scheme it may have limited success.

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