EU intends to make it easier for non-EU nationals to move between countries

5 May, 2023

News article by Raquel Babo, Lawyer - International Atlantic Services

Last week, the European Commission proposed to make it easier for non-EU nationals to move between EU countries by softening the rules on long-term resident status.

Long-term residency can currently be obtained by those who have resided legally and continuously within one EU country for at least five years, and prove to have economic resources, health insurance, and, in some cases, a connection to the country. In Portugal, citizens are required to show knowledge of the Portuguese language.

But even with these conditions met, which can already be difficult, this regime is not fulfilling its purpose as there are still barriers when moving within the EU with a lack of one regulation for all countries.

The proposed changes by the EU intend precisely to not only make it easier to obtain long-term residency but also consolidate the rights associated with it.

In the proposed changes we can find the possibility to cumulate resident periods in different EU countries (right now 5 years of residency have to be spent in one EU country to access the status), facilitate the demand of resources condition (right now most countries establish a minimum income) and extend from 12 to 24 months the amount of time the long-term resident can be out of the EU and not lose the status.

The reduction from 5 to 3 years to obtain the status was also discussed, but for now, it should only be applied to EU long-term residents who want to acquire the same status in another EU country.

The new measures, still to be discussed and approved by the European Parliament, should not apply to residents by investment as not all EU countries have that type of residency.


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