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Moving to the EU? Good advice is now just a few clicks away
Where do you apply for a German work permit? Does an Indian citizen need a residence permit to study in Spain? And if you have been exploited for work, who can you call for support?
Recent, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, launched the 'EU Immigration Portal', a website with hands-on information for foreign nationals interested in moving to the EU. The site, ec.europa.eu/immigration , is also directed at migrants who are already here and would like to move from one Member State to another. It provides specific information for each category of migrants about migration procedures in all 27 Member States.
Commissioner Malmström said: "Many people who want to move to the European Union do not know what possibilities exist, how to apply for a resident permit or the risks related to irregular migration. And migrants who are already in the EU are not always aware of their rights. We need to provide solid, easily accessible information about these sometimes complicated procedures."
The EU Immigration Portal is a first point of entry for up-to-date, practical information on EU and national immigration procedures and policies. Workers, researchers, students and those looking to join their families already in the EU can find information adapted to their needs, about the Member State they are interested in moving to. The Portal also links directly to the websites of national authorities dealing with immigration. Users can also find straightforward information about their rights and whether they need a visa to come to the EU.
The EU Immigration Portal explains how to enter EU borders legally and describes the risks related to irregular migration, such as trafficking and smuggling. Migrants and potential migrants will also find a vast contact directory of governmental and non-governmental organisations which can help them. Moreover, migrants' support organisations, as well as immigration authorities, employment services and scholars, can also make use of the in-depth information accessible through the website.
The EU Immigration Portal is available in English and French at http://ec.europa.eu/immigration/
Arabic and Spanish versions of the site are underway, as are improvements to make it more accessible from different technical platforms.
In the development of the EU Immigration portal, the Commission carried out a broad consultation process, including organisations supporting migrants, trade-unions, employers' associations and faith-based groups from the countries of origin, transit and destination. These consultations have taken place in Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain and Mali.
20.1 million people in the EU are citizens of third countries, representing around 4% of the total EU population.
In 2010, EU Member States and the countries participating in the Schengen cooperation issued over 11 million visas.
The estimated number of people trafficked to or within the EU amounts to several hundred thousand every year.
For more information
EU Immigration Portal
Homepage of Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs
Homepage of DG Home Affairs:
Michele Cercone (+32 2 298 09 63)
Tove Ernst (+32 2 298 67 64)