Resolution on Visa Directive 2004/114
Mobility is becoming increasingly important for higher education. Third country students and staff must be treated equally and European higher education must also be accessible for everyone. Therefore, free movement for students, researchers and higher education staff from third countries needs to be ensured.
ESU welcomes the proposal of Visa Directive 2004/114 on entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, study, pupil exchange, remunerated and unremunerated training, voluntary service and au pairing, which has been adopted with substantial majority on the 25th of February 2014 by the European Parliament. However, we also would like to see the following included in the proposal to ensure accessible mobility:
• Third country students must be granted the right to work in the hosting country as much as domestic students;
• All groups of students should be informed of the decision on their application within 30 days at the latest;
• In order to avoid administrative and financial barriers for students, visa and resident permits must be granted for the entire duration of the study programme;
• A solution to avoid all situations in which a student does not receive a visa before the beginning of the study period.
At this stage the proposal needs to be approved by the Council of the European Union and subsequently adopted by the European Parliament. ESU therefore calls on representatives of COREPER and the Council of the European Union to support the proposal as it stands in order to ensure a just process for third country nationals to access European higher education.