If you are planning to move to the European Union, you should know that immigration rules are not the same in every EU country. This is because most EU countries have both EU rules and their own national rules. In addition, there are exceptions to the EU-wide immigration rules in countries like Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Common rules apply if you are a highly qualified worker or if you wish to study or do research in an EU country.
Each EU country decides on topics like the total number of migrants that can be admitted, all final decisions on migrant applications and rules on long term visas.
In general, to enter the EU, you must present the necessary papers to the border authorities. These could include:
- Short-stay visa or long-stay visa
- Documents to show the purpose of your stay
- Documents to show that you have enough money for your stay and return
Border control officials will check your identity on the basis of your travel documents and examine your papers to see that you meet all entry conditions.
If you hold a long-stay visa or a residence permit from one of the 22 EU countries that are in the Schengen area, you can move freely in this area for up 3 months during a six-month period of time.
If you have resided legally for an uninterrupted period of five years in an EU country, you can apply to become a long-term resident. You will need to meet certain conditions that may include demonstrate that you speak the local language. Long term residents status means that the person will have similar rights as EU citizens in areas that may include access to employment and work conditions, education and work-related training, social protection. The EU immigration portal has comprehensive information about all these topics.