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Entry Conditions

NEW! Students and Researchers Directive

With the aim of making Europe even more attractive for foreign researchers, the European Commission proposed on 25 March 2013 a new visa directive. The European Union Member States had the obligation to implement the new rules in their national legislations based on the new directive (EU) 2016/801 by May 23rd 2018.



The new directive (EU) 2016/801 addresses the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals, for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing.

A researcher is defined as: a third-country national holding an appropriate higher education qualification which gives access to doctoral programmes, and who is selected by a research organisation for carrying out a research project for which the above qualification is normally required.

There is a distinction in the procedure for:

  • long-term admission, for researchers intending to stay in Europe for more than three months and
  • short-term visas, for entry of less than three months.

The new directive sets clearer, more consistent and transparent rules such as:

  • Procedural guarantees: The 60-day time limit for Member States' authorities to decide on a visa application or residence permit will make the application process more straightforward and transparent.
  • Access to the labour market: Researchers will be allowed to remain for up to 12 months on the territory after finalisation of their research to identify new job opportunities or set up a business. This will not amount to an automatic right to work, as granting a work permit remains a national responsibility.
  • Simpler and more flexible rules: will increase the possibility for researchers, students and remunerated trainees to move within the EU for their projects. Family members of researchers will also be granted certain mobility rights.

The procedure is available for researchers in both public and private organisations. Students are also eligible, but special conditions apply.

Individual European countries do not have identical rules of procedure, they need to be verified for each country.

Find more information about Entry Conditions for each country.

N.B: Three countries, the UK, Ireland and Denmark, are not taking part in the adoption of this Directive.