The Commission puts forward a proposal to make the EU more attractive for foreign students and researchers

The proposal presented by the Commission responds to the need to give the Union a legislative framework that would maximize its ability to attract talent. Current rules applied to visa award for students or researcher willing to come to Europe are unclear and lack from unity between Member states. The recast proposal presented by the Commission aims to put an end to this situation.

The recast directive presented by the European Commission plans to merge the two legal texts currently ruling EU admission of students and researchers, Directives 2004/114/EC and 2005/71/EC respectively. Under the new legislation, it will be easier and attractive for students, researchers and other groups of third countries to enter the European Union and fix their reside for periods longer than three months.

The new directive will improve the procedural safeguards by establishing a common 60-day time limit for national authorities to decide on applications for visas or permission. It will also put in place measure to make the process easier and more transparent. The new rules will also serve to improve mobility within the EU and the transfer of skills and knowledge, this helping to improve the results of stays, especially for students and researchers enrolled in joint programmes

Foreign students will also be able to work a minimum of 20 hours per week, and both students and researchers in the EU will allowed to remain a period of one year after completing their studies or research under certain conditions. The revised legislation provides for the protection of foreign citizens groups as au pairs, school and paid trainees, who are not covered by the current EU legislation.

The new rules proposed by the Commission are aimed at facilitating the arrival of students and researchers making Europe a more attractive destination for them. The proposed recast Directive will further be discussed and agreed upon by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. The Commission hopes for the new rules to take effect as of 2016.