EU relaxes visa restrictions for researchers and students from emerging nations

Visa restrictions for researchers and students from emerging nations

A new visa directive, which intends to make obtaining a visa easier and smoother for students and researchers from emerging nations at EU universities, was passed by the European Parliament on European Union entry and stay. The Visa Directive, passed by Members of European Parliament (MEPs) on May 12, clubs two existing directives and will see to it that students and researchers can stay back for at least nine months after having completed their studies or research to allow them to find a job or to start a business; students and researchers can move more freely within the EU. As of now, they need not apply for a new visa, but only need to inform the member state to which they intend to go; henceforth, researchers will be able to move for periods longer than they are currently allowed now. From now on, researchers are entitled to bring their family members, who would be eligible to work while they reside in Europe, and students will henceforth have the right to work for up to 15 hours a week.

Cecilia Wikström, Lead MEP and a member of the Parliamentary Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, said that she was pleased to see that the EU realised the value of welcoming highly skilled professionals to come to EU and to lure them to live there. This would certainly enable European universities to improve their competitiveness globally and make them more attractive than ever for bright and educated people from other countries, Wikström added.

To implement the directive, member states have been given two years, but the European Students Union (ESU) urged the governments to hasten the process so that the situation of students from emerging nations could be improved.

This is a bonus for students and researchers from India wanting to make use of this opportunity to gain exposure in the developed nations of Europe.

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