The EU measures on legal migration cover the conditions of entry and residence for certain categories of immigrants, such as highly skilled workers subject to the EU Blue Card Directive students and researchers, seasonal workers and intracorporate transferees. Not only does the EU benefit from the presence of migrants but so do their countries of origin. Many migrants send home remittances during their stay, some even invest in their countries of origin while residing legally in the EU. Many migrants eventually return to their home countries and contribute to the local economies with newly acquired knowledge, skills and human capital.

Labour migrationCreating legal channels for labour migrants is an indispensable part of the EU's comprehensive approach to migration and goes hand in hand with the fight against irregular flows.

Students and researchers: Directive (EU) 2016/801 regulates 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

Family reunification: Directive 2003/86/EC establishes common rules for exercising the right to family reunification and determines the conditions under which family reunification is granted, establishing guarantees and rights for the family members concerned.

Please click here to learn more about this topic

Useful links

  • WHERE DO YOU FIT INTO? Here you can discover whether you fall into any of the categories of people covered by the EU Directives
  • WHICH COUNTRY DO YOU WANT TO GO TO? Here you can click on countries and learn the procedures to follow according to your profile
  • NEW REQUIREMENTS TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE: Here you can find the new requirements for non-EU nationals as of 2024


Latest news

On 27 April 2022, the Commission presented a Communication setting out an approach towards a new and sustainable EU legal migration policy, attracting the skills and talent that the EU needs to address labour shortages and reply to the demographic change in Europe. On the same day, the Commission also presented a proposals to modernise the Long-term residents Directive and the Single Permit Directive.

In the Communication on Attracting skills and talent, the Commission proposed to establish the first EU-wide labour platform and matching tool - the EU Talent Pool. It will help make the EU more attractive for nationals from non-EU countries and to address the challenge of matching EU employers with the talent they are unable to find in the EU’s labour market.

The EU Talent Pool will be an EU-wide pool of candidates from non-EU countries. Candidates will be selected on the basis of specific skill levels, criteria and migration requirements following a screening of candidates’ credentials.