single permit directive

New single permit directive

Great news, the EU approved the revisions to the current Single Permit Directive! The approved changes aim to make the EU more attractive to foreign workers while further safeguarding their rights. The revisions include updates to existing rules, and also address topics that were previously omitted in the Directive. The main changes are listed in this article. Are you looking for other recent immigration news? You can find it in this earlier article.

Intra EU mobility in new single permit directive

In the new directive, Intra EU mobility will be easier for non EU applicants with valid EU residence permits and their employers. Applicants (and their employers) will be allowed to apply for a permit within an EU country if the applicant already holds a valid residence permit in another EU country. Previously, this right was discretionary for Member States.

Shorter Decision Term

The officially allowed government processing time will be reduced from four to three months. However, in exceptions the revised Directive allows for the processing time to be extended by an additional 30 days.

Change of Employer procedure

Permit holders will be allowed to change employers after working for them for at least six months. In exceptional circumstances even sooner. This aspect was not addressed in the previous single permit directive.


Another aspect not addressed previously is the residence rights during unemployment. Under the new single permit directive, permit holders facing unemployment can remain in their host country for at least three months, potentially up to six months, if they have held a Single Permit for the past two years.


Member States will be required to closely monitor employer compliance with the terms of the revised Directive. Additionally, permit holders will have the right to seek individual redress in cases of non-compliance, an aspect not covered in the previous directive.

Equal Treatment

To ensure equal treatment of foreign and EU workers, additional rules regarding work hours, the right to strike and join collective agreements, and the right to choose private housing and accommodation independent of one’s employer will be introduced.

As mentioned, the implementation date is yet to be announced, after which Member States will have up to two years to domestically implement the terms of the revised Directive. We welcome these changes and look forward to their speedy implementation. You will receive our update about the implementation date in the Netherlands as soon as we know it.

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