Search Legislation

Council Directive 2003/109/ECShow full title

Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003 concerning the status of third-country nationals who are long-term residents

 Help about what version

What Version

  • Latest available (Revised)
  • Original (As adopted by EU)
 Help about advanced features

Advanced Features

 Help about opening options

Opening Options

More Resources

Close

This is a legislation item that originated from the EU

After exit day there will be three versions of this legislation to consult for different purposes. The legislation.gov.uk version is the version that applies in the UK. The EU Version currently on EUR-lex is the version that currently applies in the EU i.e you may need this if you operate a business in the EU.

The web archive version is the official version of this legislation item as it stood on exit day before being published to legislation.gov.uk and any subsequent UK changes and effects applied. The web archive also captured associated case law and other language formats from EUR-Lex.

Changes over time for: CHAPTER II

 Help about opening options

Status:

EU Directives are being published on this site to aid cross referencing from UK legislation. After exit day no further amendments will be applied to this version.

CHAPTER IIU.K.+E.U.LONG-TERM RESIDENT STATUS IN A MEMBER STATE

Article 4U.K.+E.U.Duration of residence

1.Member States shall grant long-term resident status to third-country nationals who have resided legally and continuously within its territory for five years immediately prior to the submission of the relevant application.

[F11a. Member States shall not grant long-term resident status on the basis of international protection in the event of the revocation of, ending of or refusal to renew international protection as laid down in Articles 14(3) and 19(3) of Directive 2004/83/EC.]

2.Periods of residence for the reasons referred to in Article 3(2)(e) and (f) shall not be taken into account for the purposes of calculating the period referred to in paragraph 1.

Regarding the cases covered in Article 3(2)(a), where the third-country national concerned has acquired a title of residence which will enable him/her to be granted long-term resident status, only half of the periods of residence for study purposes or vocational training may be taken into account in the calculation of the period referred to in paragraph 1.

[F1Regarding persons to whom international protection has been granted, at least half of the period between the date of the lodging of the application for international protection on the basis of which that international protection was granted and the date of the grant of the residence permit referred to in Article 24 of Directive 2004/83/EC, or the whole of that period if it exceeds 18 months, shall be taken into account in the calculation of the period referred to in paragraph 1.]

3.Periods of absence from the territory of the Member State concerned shall not interrupt the period referred to in paragraph 1 and shall be taken into account for its calculation where they are shorter than six consecutive months and do not exceed in total 10 months within the period referred to in paragraph 1.

In cases of specific or exceptional reasons of a temporary nature and in accordance with their national law, Member States may accept that a longer period of absence than that which is referred to in the first subparagraph shall not interrupt the period referred to in paragraph 1. In such cases Member States shall not take into account the relevant period of absence in the calculation of the period referred to in paragraph 1.

By way of derogation from the second subparagraph, Member States may take into account in the calculation of the total period referred to in paragraph 1 periods of absence relating to secondment for employment purposes, including the provision of cross-border services.

Article 5U.K.+E.U.Conditions for acquiring long-term resident status

1.Member States shall require third-country nationals to provide evidence that they have, for themselves and for dependent family members:

(a)

stable and regular resources which are sufficient to maintain himself/herself and the members of his/her family, without recourse to the social assistance system of the Member State concerned. Member States shall evaluate these resources by reference to their nature and regularity and may take into account the level of minimum wages and pensions prior to the application for long-term resident status;

(b)

sickness insurance in respect of all risks normally covered for his/her own nationals in the Member State concerned.

2.Member States may require third-country nationals to comply with integration conditions, in accordance with national law.

Article 6U.K.+E.U.Public policy and public security

1.Member States may refuse to grant long-term resident status on grounds of public policy or public security.

When taking the relevant decision, the Member State shall consider the severity or type of offence against public policy or public security, or the danger that emanates from the person concerned, while also having proper regard to the duration of residence and to the existence of links with the country of residence.

2.The refusal referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be founded on economic considerations.

Article 7U.K.+E.U.Acquisition of long-term resident status

1.To acquire long-term resident status, the third-country national concerned shall lodge an application with the competent authorities of the Member State in which he/she resides. The application shall be accompanied by documentary evidence to be determined by national law that he/she meets the conditions set out in Articles 4 and 5 as well as, if required, by a valid travel document or its certified copy.

The evidence referred to in the first subparagraph may also include documentation with regard to appropriate accommodation.

2.The competent national authorities shall give the applicant written notification of the decision as soon as possible and in any event no later than six months from the date on which the application was lodged. Any such decision shall be notified to the third-country national concerned in accordance with the notification procedures under the relevant national legislation.

In exceptional circumstances linked to the complexity of the examination of the application, the time limit referred to in the first subparagraph may be extended.

In addition, the person concerned shall be informed about his/her rights and obligations under this Directive.

Any consequences of no decision being taken by the end of the period provided for in this provision shall be determined by national legislation of the relevant Member State.

3.If the conditions provided for by Articles 4 and 5 are met, and the person does not represent a threat within the meaning of Article 6, the Member State concerned shall grant the third-country national concerned long-term resident status.

Article 8U.K.+E.U.Long-term resident's EC residence permit

1.The status as long-term resident shall be permanent, subject to Article 9.

2.Member States shall issue a long-term resident's EC residence permit to long-term residents. The permit shall be valid at least for five years; it shall, upon application if required, be automatically renewable on expiry.

3.A long-term resident's EC residence permit may be issued in the form of a sticker or of a separate document. It shall be issued in accordance with the rules and standard model as set out in Council Regulation (EC) No 1030/2002 of 13 June 2002 laying down a uniform format for residence permits for third-country nationals(1). Under the heading ‘type of permit’, the Member States shall enter ‘long-term resident — EC’.

[F14. Where a Member State issues a long-term resident’s EU residence permit to a third-country national to whom it granted international protection, it shall enter the following remark in that long-term resident’s EU residence permit, under the heading Remarks : International protection granted by [name of the Member State] on [date] .

5. Where a long-term resident’s EU residence permit is issued by a second Member State to a third-country national who already has a long-term resident’s EU residence permit issued by another Member State which contains the remark referred to in paragraph 4, the second Member State shall enter the same remark in the long-term resident’s EU residence permit.

Before the second Member State enters the remark referred to in paragraph 4, it shall request the Member State mentioned in that remark to provide information as to whether the long-term resident is still a beneficiary of international protection. The Member State mentioned in the remark shall reply no later than 1 month after receiving the request for information. Where international protection has been withdrawn by a final decision, the second Member State shall not enter that remark.

6. Where, in accordance with the relevant international instruments or national law, responsibility for the international protection of the long-term resident was transferred to the second Member State after the long-term resident’s EU residence permit referred to in paragraph 5 was issued, the second Member State shall amend accordingly the remark referred to in paragraph 4 no later than 3 months after the transfer.]

Article 9U.K.+E.U.Withdrawal or loss of status

1.Long-term residents shall no longer be entitled to maintain long-term resident status in the following cases:

(a)

detection of fraudulent acquisition of long-term resident status;

(b)

adoption of an expulsion measure under the conditions provided for in Article 12;

(c)

in the event of absence from the territory of the Community for a period of 12 consecutive months.

2.By way of derogation from paragraph 1(c), Member States may provide that absences exceeding 12 consecutive months or for specific or exceptional reasons shall not entail withdrawal or loss of status.

3.Member States may provide that the long-term resident shall no longer be entitled to maintain his/her long-term resident status in cases where he/she constitutes a threat to public policy, in consideration of the seriousness of the offences he/she committed, but such threat is not a reason for expulsion within the meaning of Article 12.

[F13a. Member States may withdraw the long-term resident status in the event of the revocation of, ending of or refusal to renew international protection as laid down in Articles 14(3) and 19(3) of Directive 2004/83/EC if the long-term resident status was obtained on the basis of international protection.]

4.The long-term resident who has resided in another Member State in accordance with Chapter III shall no longer be entitled to maintain his/her long-term resident status acquired in the first Member State when such a status is granted in another Member State pursuant to Article 23.

In any case after six years of absence from the territory of the Member State that granted long-term resident status the person concerned shall no longer be entitled to maintain his/her long term resident status in the said Member State.

By way of derogation from the second subparagraph the Member State concerned may provide that for specific reasons the long-term resident shall maintain his/her status in the said Member State in case of absences for a period exceeding six years.

5.With regard to the cases referred to in paragraph 1(c) and in paragraph 4, Member States who have granted the status shall provide for a facilitated procedure for the re-acquisition of long-term resident status.

The said procedure shall apply in particular to the cases of persons that have resided in a second Member State on grounds of pursuit of studies.

The conditions and the procedure for the re-acquisition of long-term resident status shall be determined by national law.

6.The expiry of a long-term resident's EC residence permit shall in no case entail withdrawal or loss of long-term resident status.

7.Where the withdrawal or loss of long-term resident status does not lead to removal, the Member State shall authorise the person concerned to remain in its territory if he/she fulfils the conditions provided for in its national legislation and/or if he/she does not constitute a threat to public policy or public security.

Article 10U.K.+E.U.Procedural guarantees

1.Reasons shall be given for any decision rejecting an application for long-term resident status or withdrawing that status. Any such decision shall be notified to the third-country national concerned in accordance with the notification procedures under the relevant national legislation. The notification shall specify the redress procedures available and the time within which he/she may act.

2.Where an application for long-term resident status is rejected or that status is withdrawn or lost or the residence permit is not renewed, the person concerned shall have the right to mount a legal challenge in the Member State concerned.

Article 11U.K.+E.U.Equal treatment

1.Long-term residents shall enjoy equal treatment with nationals as regards:

(a)

access to employment and self-employed activity, provided such activities do not entail even occasional involvement in the exercise of public authority, and conditions of employment and working conditions, including conditions regarding dismissal and remuneration;

(b)

education and vocational training, including study grants in accordance with national law;

(c)

recognition of professional diplomas, certificates and other qualifications, in accordance with the relevant national procedures;

(d)

social security, social assistance and social protection as defined by national law;

(e)

tax benefits;

(f)

access to goods and services and the supply of goods and services made available to the public and to procedures for obtaining housing;

(g)

freedom of association and affiliation and membership of an organisation representing workers or employers or of any organisation whose members are engaged in a specific occupation, including the benefits conferred by such organisations, without prejudice to the national provisions on public policy and public security;

(h)

free access to the entire territory of the Member State concerned, within the limits provided for by the national legislation for reasons of security.

2.With respect to the provisions of paragraph 1, points (b), (d), (e), (f) and (g), the Member State concerned may restrict equal treatment to cases where the registered or usual place of residence of the long-term resident, or that of family members for whom he/she claims benefits, lies within the territory of the Member State concerned.

3.Member States may restrict equal treatment with nationals in the following cases:

(a)

Member States may retain restrictions to access to employment or self-employed activities in cases where, in accordance with existing national or Community legislation, these activities are reserved to nationals, EU or EEA citizens;

(b)

Member States may require proof of appropriate language proficiency for access to education and training. Access to university may be subject to the fulfilment of specific educational prerequisites.

4.Member States may limit equal treatment in respect of social assistance and social protection to core benefits.

[F14a. As far as the Member State which granted international protection is concerned, paragraphs 3 and 4 shall be without prejudice to Directive 2004/83/EC.]

5.Member States may decide to grant access to additional benefits in the areas referred to in paragraph 1.

Member States may also decide to grant equal treatment with regard to areas not covered in paragraph 1.

Article 12U.K.+E.U.Protection against expulsion

1.Member States may take a decision to expel a long-term resident solely where he/she constitutes an actual and sufficiently serious threat to public policy or public security.

2.The decision referred to in paragraph 1 shall not be founded on economic considerations.

3.Before taking a decision to expel a long-term resident, Member States shall have regard to the following factors:

(a)

the duration of residence in their territory;

(b)

the age of the person concerned;

(c)

the consequences for the person concerned and family members;

(d)

links with the country of residence or the absence of links with the country of origin.

[F13a. Where a Member State decides to expel a long-term resident whose long-term resident’s EU residence permit contains the remark referred to in Article 8(4), it shall request the Member State mentioned in that remark to confirm whether the person concerned is still a beneficiary of international protection in that Member State. The Member State mentioned in the remark shall reply no later than 1 month after receiving the request for information.

3b. If the long-term resident is still a beneficiary of international protection in the Member State mentioned in the remark, that person shall be expelled to that Member State, which shall, without prejudice to the applicable Union or national law and to the principle of family unity, immediately readmit, without formalities, that beneficiary and his/her family members.

3c. By way of derogation from paragraph 3b, the Member State which adopted the expulsion decision shall retain the right to remove, in accordance with its international obligations, the long-term resident to a country other than the Member State which granted international protection where that person fulfils the conditions specified in Article 21(2) of Directive 2004/83/EC.]

4.Where an expulsion decision has been adopted, a judicial redress procedure shall be available to the long-term resident in the Member State concerned.

5.Legal aid shall be given to long-term residents lacking adequate resources, on the same terms as apply to nationals of the State where they reside.

[F16. This Article shall be without prejudice to Article 21(1) of Directive 2004/83/EC.]

Article 13U.K.+E.U.More favourable national provisions

Member States may issue residence permits of permanent or unlimited validity on terms that are more favourable than those laid down by this Directive. Such residence permits shall not confer the right of residence in the other Member States as provided by Chapter III of this Directive.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As adopted by EU): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was first adopted in the EU. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

See additional information alongside the content

Geographical Extent: Indicates the geographical area that this provision applies to. For further information see ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Show Timeline of Changes: See how this legislation has or could change over time. Turning this feature on will show extra navigation options to go to these specific points in time. Return to the latest available version by using the controls above in the What Version box.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as adopted version that was used for the EU Official Journal
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources
Close

Timeline of Changes

This timeline shows the different versions taken from EUR-Lex as well as any subsequent versions created after exit day as a result of changes made by UK legislation.

The dates for the EU versions are taken from the document dates on EUR-LEx and may not always coincide with when the changes came into force for the document.

For any versions created after exit day as a result of changes made by UK legislation the date will coincide with the earliest date on which the change (e.g an insertion, a repeal or a substitution) that was applied came into force. For further information see our guide to revised legislation on Understanding Legislation.

Close

More Resources

Use this menu to access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as adopted version that was used for the print copy
  • correction slips

Click 'View More' or select 'More Resources' tab for additional information including:

  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • links to related legislation and further information resources