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Admission of third-country nationals to the Member States for study purposes

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Admission of third-country nationals to the Member States for study purposes


To establish principles for the Member States on the admission of third-party nationals to their territory for study purposes.


Council Resolution of 30 November 1994, on the admission of third-country nationals to the territory of the Member States of the European Union for study purposes.


1. The Council recalls that, in the report on immigration and asylum policy adopted by the Maastricht European Council in December 1991, priority was given to the harmonisation of rules for the admission of students from third countries. The 1994 programme on Justice and Home Affairs also gave priority to the completion of work on the admission of students.

2. The Council maintains that the international exchange of students and academics is desirable because it has positive implications for relations between the Member States and the countries of origin of these students and academics.

The Member States should facilitate the admission and residence of students from third countries within the framework of special cooperation programmes funded at national or Community level.

3. "Student" is taken to mean a national of a third country admitted by a state or state-recognised higher education institution or comparable institution in a Member State in order to:

  • undertake a course of study;
  • study for a doctorate; or
  • pursue a postgraduate activity, within the framework of basic or advanced vocational training, provided the earning of income is not the principal aim of this activity.

4. A national of a third country who requests admission as a student will have to fulfil all the requirements applicable to foreigners as regards entry and residence in the territory of the Member State. He/she must have a firm offer of admission to a higher education institution for a full-time course of study and must have the financial means to cover the cost of the course and living expenses.

5. The applicant must fulfil the general conditions for entry and residence in the Member State. The duration of residence is limited to the length of the course.

6. In principle a national of a third country who is studying in the territory of a Member State may not engage in paid work either as a self-employed person or as an employee. Member States may, however, allow short-term or part-time jobs. Such jobs must not affect the student's studies.

7. Third-country nationals who enter a Member State with the aim of working there in an employed or self-employed capacity will not, in principle, be allowed to engage in full-time study on the basis of this resolution.

8. The duration of residence is limited to the length of the course. If the period of study is longer than one year, the residence permit may initially be limited to one year and subsequently renewed on a yearly basis under the terms set out in this resolution.

9. The resolution does not affect the situation of third-country nationals legally resident on a permanent basis in the territory of a Member State, but with no right of admission to or residence in another Member State. This does not affect the position of third-country nationals who are already covered or may in future be covered by bilateral agreements between Member States regarding cooperation between institutions of higher education.

10. The resolution does not apply to:

  • individuals who enjoy the right to freedom of movement under Community law or to members of their families;
  • to third-country nationals who have been admitted for the purposes of family reunification.

4) deadline for the implementation of the legislation in the member states

5) date of entry into force (if different from the above)

6) references

Official Journal C 274 of 19.09.1996

7) follow-up work

8) implementing measures

Last updated: 27.07.2005