This article has been reviewed and fact-checked by Wego’s editorial team.

European Union member states have reached a consensus on their negotiating mandate to revise the EU Long-Term Residents Directive, according to a report by Wego. This initiative is aimed at streamlining the process for third-country nationals to obtain long-term resident status within the EU.


The directive stipulates the criteria for third-country nationals to attain EU long-term resident status. To secure this status, individuals must have legally and continuously resided in a member state for a minimum of five years. The Council has decided to accept only certain types of legal residence permits, such as holders of EU Blue Cards or residence permits issued for the purpose of highly qualified employment.

Applicants are also required to meet certain conditions, including providing evidence of stable financial resources and health insurance. Moreover, they may be subject to integration requirements set by member states. While long-term resident status is permanent, it can be withdrawn under specific circumstances, such as prolonged absence from the EU.

The EU’s long-term resident status confers several benefits to its holders. A notable feature of the EU long-term resident status is the intra-EU mobility rights it grants holders. Unlike national residence systems, EU long-term residents can move and reside in other EU countries for work or studies. However, this right is not automatic and is subject to a number of conditions.

Furthermore, EU long-term residents are entitled to equal treatment with EU nationals regarding employment, self-employment, education, vocational training, and tax benefits. However, residency within the member state’s territory is a prerequisite for these privileges.

According to Eurostat data, in 2020, over 23 million third-country nationals legally resided in the EU, constituting 5.1% of the EU population. More than ten million of these third-country nationals were holders of a long-term or permanent residence permit. These proposed amendments aim to address the underutilization of the existing EU long-term resident status, simplify acquisition processes, and remove barriers to intra-EU mobility. The Council’s agreed-upon negotiating mandate now paves the way for interinstitutional talks with the European Parliament to finalize the legal text.

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