Intra-EU Mobility of third-country nationals (2013)
The aims of the study are to (1) provide an overview of provisions on mobility for TCNs in the EU acquis and in national legislation in different countries, (2) to identify challenges and barriers to mobility, and (3) to seek to map the scale and scope of mobility of TCNs for periods exceeding three months.
The study finds that statistics on the mobility of TCNs are very limited and often not comparable with each other. Given the growing importance of such mobility and the attempts to facilitate movements for certain groups, it is important to develop new ways to measure such mobility. The limited available statistics indicate and upward trend, but absolute numbers are still small.
While TCNs can move freely within the Union for up to three months, rules are significantly stricter for periods exceeding three months. EU Member States also have significant discretion. The EU acquis has rules for the movement between Member States of long-term residents, EU Blue Card Holders, researchers, students, highly skilled workers and posted workers. The rules for these different groups are explained in more detail in the study.
EU Member States can impose a number of measures to regulate the intra-EU mobility of TCNs, including labor market restrictions, minimum wage rates, and other administrative requirements. These can be particularly burdensome for entrepreneurs and self-employed persons. TCNs may also struggle to have their qualifications recognized and to access social services when they move to a second EU country.