EMN Focussed Study: Changes in immigration status and purpose of stay: an overview of EU Member States’ approaches, July 2016

Executive Summary:
Member States regulate immigration flows by providing, on the basis of their relevant legislation, specific channels for immigration, each of which relate to a specific purpose of stay. Each ‘purpose’ or ‘reason’ for immigration is accompanied by a set of specific requirements and conditions which have to be fulfilled in order to be granted access to and stay in the territories of the Member States. Third-country nationals might have the possibility to change their legal status into another type of status during their legal stay, or when third-country nationals with temporary residence permits or visas no longer meet the criteria linked to the respective authorisation to stay, they may be required to leave or become irregular if they choose to remain on the territory. However, third-country nationals admitted for one purpose of stay may in some Member States qualify for another purpose and could hence apply for another status to remain legally on the territory of a Member State (e.g. international students allowed to stay and look for work, employed migrants changing to a selfemployment / entrepreneur category, asylum seekers changing to labour immigrant status or family-related stays, etc.). The motivations of Member States to allow for such changes may arise from a wish to make their immigration systems more flexible, so that they are able to respond to labour and skills shortages in a cost- and time-efficient way, to activate and unlock the potential of existing immigrants’ skills and/or to prevent third-country nationals from becoming irregular migrants, a phenomenon that today is addressed primarily through restrictive measures (return) or so-called ‘regularisations’ or ‘amnesties’. This Study specifically covers the following main research points:
• Mapping of the national legislation / policies available to third-country nationals covered by the present study and rights acquired by these thirdcountry nationals;
• Identification of the national rules on changes in purpose of stay that (can) apply to the categories of migrants covered by this Study;
• Examination of the various rights that are granted to the categories of migrants who benefit from each particular status and the impact of changes of status on the rights of these migrants;
• Comparison and assessment of the different national policies in place for changes in purposes of stay, identifying the main drivers from the perspective of national legislators;  Identification of specific measures in place in the Member States to facilitate changes in statuses of migrants in the categories covered by the Study;
• Analysis of the challenges associated with the implementation of these policies;
• Collecting good practices and lessons learnt in devising secure and administratively-friendly.

This Study was part of the 2015-2016 Work Programme for the EMN. The Synthesis Report was prepared on the basis of National Contributions from 24 EMN NCPs (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Latvia, Netherland, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom) according to a Common Template developed by the EMN and followed by EMN NCPs to ensure, to the extent possible, comparability

For more please see:
Synthesis Report for the EMN Focussed Study 2015: Changes in immigration status and purpose of stay: an overview of EU Member States’ approaches, July 2016

Slovenian national report: Changes in immigration status and purpose of stay, January 2016.