EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 31996Y0919(04)

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

EÜT C 274, 19.9.1996, p. 10–12 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

Legal status of the document In force


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

Official Journal C 274 , 19/09/1996 P. 0010 - 0012


COUNCIL RESOLUTION of 30 November 1994 on the admission of third-country nationals to the territory of the Member States for study purposes


Having regard to the Treaty on European Union, and in particular Article K.1 thereof,


A. General considerations

1. The Council recalls that, in the report adopted by the Maastricht European Council (December 1991) from the Ministers responsible for immigration and asylum policy, priority was given to the harmonization of rules for the admission of students from third countries. In the 1994 programme of work on justice and home affairs, which the Council approved at its meeting on 29 and 30 November 1993 in Brussels, the completion of work on the admission of students was also given priority status.

2. The Council confirms that the international exchange of students and academics is desirable; it acknowledges that the education of students and the exchange of academics have positive implications for relations between the Member States and the States of origin.

3. The Council agrees that, at the end of their studies, students must in principle return to their countries of origin so that the knowledge and skills they have acquired are made available to those countries.

4. The Council considers it is important to ensure that the admission of third-country nationals to study in the Member States for a limited period in principle does not turn into permanent immigration. Similarly, the Council considers it is necessary to devise suitable systems to prevent those who are mainly seeking employment from receiving authorization to stay on as students.

5. The Council agrees not to regulate via this resolution the issue of third-country nationals lawfully resident on a permanent basis in the territory of a Member State, but who have no right of admission and residence in another Member State.

This does not affect the position of third-country nationals who are already covered or who may, in the future, be covered by bilateral agreements between the Member States regarding the cooperation between institutions of higher education.

6. The Council agrees that the national policies of Member States in respect of the admission of third-country nationals for study purposes should be governed by the principles set out below, which may not be relaxed by Member States in their national legislation.

The Council agrees to have regard to these principles in any proposals for the revision of national legislation.

The Member States will further endeavour to seek to ensure by 1 January 1996 that national legislation is in conformity with such principles. The principles are not legally binding on Member States and do not afford a ground for action by individuals.

7. The Council agrees that there shall be a regular review of the transposition of this resolution and of the need for amendments to it.

8. The Member States should facilitate the admission and residence of students from third countries within the framework of special cooperation programmes, the financing of which is secured at national or Community level.

9. Application of the said principles does not prevent application of national rules on public policy, public health or safety.

B. Persons exempt from the scope of this resolution

The principles of harmonization will not apply to:

- individuals who enjoy the right of freedom of movement under Community law, i.e. nationals of the Member States, nationals of the EFTA countries which are parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and members of their families,

- third-country nationals who have been admitted for the purposes of family reunification to take up residence with nationals of a Member State or third country who reside in the Member State in question.

C. Principles by which the policies of the Member States will be guided

1. General criteria Within the meaning of these principles, a student is a national of a third country admitted by a State or State-recognized higher education institution or a comparable institution in a Member State in order to:

- take up a course of study,

- study for a doctorate, or

- pursue academic activity following a course of higher education within the framework of further study or training, where the earning of income is not the principal aim.

It should also be noted that for the purposes of this resolution school pupils and apprentices are not included.

For the purpose of this resolution, a person who participates in a course aimed at preparing for a specific course of university studies (e.g. providing language training) shall also be deemed to be a student.

2. Requirements for admission

A national of a third country who requests admission as a student will have to prove to the competent authorities of the Member State that he/she:

- fulfils all the requirements applicable to foreigners as regards entry and stay in the territory of the Member State,

- has a firm offer of admission to a State or State-recognized higher education institution or a comparable institution appropriate to his/her studies for a course of study as a main activity and is so required by national legislation that this offer concurs with requirements made by the competent immigration authorities.

Member States may also request proof of continuity between previous studies and studies to be undertaken in the host country,

- has the financial means required to support the cost of his/her studies and subsistence for himself/herself so that during his/her stay the student does not need to claim social assistance in the host Member State and the earning of an income is not the principal aim,

- if required by national legislation, has health cover for all risks in the host Member State.

A Member State may also require the student to satisfy the immigration authorities that he/she would return to his/her own country on completion of studies.

A Member State may permit persons to enter who are interested in preparing their application for studies in the respective State or who can demonstrate a genuine and realistic plan for undertaking a course of study. It may be permitted for the person concerned not to have to leave the country in order to obtain an extension of his/her authorization to stay.

Nationals of third countries who entered the Member State with the aim of working there in an employed or self-employed capacity shall on the basis of this resolution not be admitted in principle to engage in study as a main activity.

3. Authorization to reside

The duration of residence is limited to the length of the course.

The length of the course is dictated by the duration of studies in the chosen subject. At the end of the course of study, or if the student abandons his/her studies, authorization to reside expires. Any change in subject will involve a change in the reason for residence which, as a rule, argues against a fresh authorization or an extension of the existing one if it does not take place within the initial phase of the studies.

Proof of authorization to reside will take the form of an entry in the student's passport or a particular personal identity card.

If the period of study is longer than one year, the authorization can initially be limited to a one-year period; in that case it can be renewed on a yearly basis. Renewal will depend on the student's ability to prove that he/she fulfils the requirements for its original issue and that he/she has passed any tests or examinations set by the institution in which he/she is studying.

At the end of his/her course of study, or if the student abandons his/her studies, a national of a third country will in principle have to leave the territory of the Member State; if he/she wishes to return to that country he/she will have to re-apply for authorization to re-enter.

4. Employment authorization

In principle a national of a third country who is studying in the territory of a Member State may not engage in gainful employment, either in a self-employed or employed capacity. Member States may allow short-term or subsidiary jobs. Such jobs must not affect the continuation of his/her studies; neither must they, in principle, represent an income vital for the subsistence of the student.

5. Admission of family members

National provisions will apply as regards the possible admission of family members and the taking-up of employment or study by the spouse.

Once the third country national has ended his/her studies, the spouse and children to whom authorization to stay was granted are also required to leave the territory of the Member State if they have no other authorization to remain.