Free movement of persons, asylum and immigration

Table of Contents:

Free movement of persons, asylum and immigration

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Free movement of persons, asylum and immigration


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Free movement of persons, asylum and immigration

The free movement of persons is a fundamental right guaranteed to European Union (EU) citizens by the Treaties. It is realised through the area of freedom, security and justice without internal borders. Lifting internal borders requires strengthened management of the Union’s external borders as well as regulated entry and residence of non-EU nationals, including through a common asylum and immigration policy.
The concept of free movement of persons came about with the signing of the Schengen Agreement in 1985 and the subsequent Schengen Convention in 1990, which initiated the abolition of border controls between participating countries. Being part of the EU legal and institutional framework, Schengen cooperation has gradually been extended to include most EU Member States as well as some non-EU countries.


  • Right of Union citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States
  • The Schengen area and cooperation
  • Strengthening the Schengen area
  • The Stockholm Programme
  • Action plan on the Stockholm Programme


  • Legal instruments governing migration from SIS 1+ to SIS II
  • Second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) – former 1st pillar regulation
  • Second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) – former 3rd pillar decision
  • Access of vehicle registration services to SIS II
  • IT agency for the area of freedom, security and justice
  • New functions for the Schengen Information System in the fight against terrorism
  • Improved effectiveness, enhanced interoperability and synergies between European databases


  • Schengen Borders Code
  • Local border traffic at external land borders
  • Rapid border intervention teams (RABIT)
  • European Agency for the Management of External Borders – Frontex
  • External Borders Fund (2007-13)
  • Obligation of air carriers to communicate passenger data
  • Standing Committee on operational cooperation on internal security
  • EU internal security strategy
  • Next steps in border management in the EU
  • European external border surveillance system (EUROSUR)
  • Reinforcing the management of the EU’s southern maritime borders


Visa policy

  • Visa Code
  • Visa requirements for non-EU nationals
  • Uniform format for visas
  • Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD)
  • Facilitating procedures for issuing visas for those taking part in sporting events
  • Airport transit arrangements

Information system on visas

  • VIS Regulation
  • Establishment of the Visa Information System (VIS) – Stage 1
  • Access to the Visa Information System (VIS) by the national authorities and Europol

Consular cooperation and document fraud

  • Integration of biometric features in passports and travel documents
  • Exchange of information to combat counterfeit travel documents
  • FADO image-archiving system
  • Detecting forged documents
  • Local consular cooperation regarding visas


European asylum system

  • European Asylum Support Office
  • Joint EU resettlement programme
  • Policy plan on asylum
  • Entry of refugees into the EU and enhancing protection for them in the countries of first asylum
  • Future common European asylum system

Minimal harmonisation of national legislation

  • Minimum standards for procedures for granting and withdrawing refugee status
  • Conditions governing eligibility for refugee status or international protection
  • Minimum standards on the reception of applicants for asylum in Member States
  • Minimum guarantees for asylum procedures
  • Temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons

Cooperation and coordination of asylum systems

  • Dublin II Regulation
  • “Eurodac” system
  • Closer practical cooperation

Financial programmes

  • European Refugee Fund (2008-13)


Immigration policy

  • European Pact on Immigration and Asylum
  • A comprehensive European migration policy
  • A common immigration policy for Europe
  • Policy plan on legal migration
  • Actions and tools for integration
  • Common framework for the integration of non-EU nationals

Entry and residence

  • Uniform format for residence permits
  • Admission and residence of researchers from third countries
  • Entry and residence of highly qualified workers (EU Blue Card)
  • Conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service
  • Residence permit for victims of human trafficking
  • Status of non-EU nationals who are long-term residents
  • Family reunification
  • Single application procedure for a residence and work permit and a common set of rights for Non-EU Member Country workers
  • Limitations on the admission of third-country nationals for the purpose of pursuing activities as self-employed persons
  • Limitations on the admission of third-country nationals for employment

Illegal immigration

  • Defining the facilitation of illegal immigration
  • Penal framework for preventing the facilitation of illegal immigration
  • Sanctions against the employment of illegally staying non-EU nationals
  • Financial penalties on carriers
  • Immigration liaison officers’ network
  • Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Air and Sea
  • Policy priorities in the fight against illegal immigration
  • Links between legal and illegal immigration

Return and expulsion

  • Common standards and procedures for returning illegal immigrants
  • Mutual recognition of expulsion decisions
  • Joint flights for the removal of illegal immigrants

Information and cooperation

  • Community statistics on asylum and migration
  • The European Migration Network (EMN)
  • Mutual information mechanism for national asylum and immigration measures
  • Information management in the area of freedom, security and justice

Financial programmes

  • Integration Fund (2007-13)
  • Return Fund (2008-13)
  • Framework programme on solidarity and management of migration flows for the period 2007-2013


  • Strengthening the Global Approach to Migration
  • Migration: Global Approach to the Eastern and South-Eastern regions of the EU
  • Circular migration and mobility partnerships 
  • Towards a comprehensive European migration policy
  • Cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries in the areas of migration and asylum
  • The external dimension of the area of freedom, security and justice
  • Migration and development: some concrete orientations
  • Integration of concerns related to migration within the external policy

External borders and visas

  • Agreements with the countries of the Western Balkans on the facilitation of the issuance of visas
  • Facilitating the issuance of short-stay visas with Russia
  • Transit Kaliningrad – Russian mainland: proposals and implementation


  • Regional Protection Programmes

Return and readmission

  • Readmission agreements with Macao and Hong Kong
  • Agreement with Pakistan on readmission
  • Readmission agreements with Eastern European countries
  • Agreement on readmission with Russia
  • Readmission agreements with the countries of the western Balkans
  • Readmission agreement with Sri Lanka

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *