Admitting third-country nationals for business purposes (EMN Inform)

This EMN Inform summarises the main findings of the EMN Study Admitting third-country nationals for business purposes focusing on the admission for business purposes of non-EU investors, non-EU business-owners and other business persons.

Background information

This EMN Inform summarises the main findings of the EMN Study Admitting third-country nationals for business purposes, which aimed to provide an analysis and further understanding of the policies and specific conditions in place in EU Member States that regulate the admission for business purposes of: 1) non-EU investors, 2) non-EU business owners and 3) other business persons.

The study also sought to compare the ways, and extent to which, EU Member States’ existing legal and policy measures are used to facilitate the admission and stay of third-country nationals for business purposes whilst safeguarding against misuse.

The Study contributes to the wider debate on increasing EU competiteveness, attracting investors and business owners (entrepreneurs), while addressing the mobility of international workers.

Inform: some findings

  • Statistics on immigrant investors, immigrant business owners and other business persons are not collected systematically for each of the categories within the scope of study. Available statistics suggest that these categories represent only very low shares of overall immigrant populations.
  • National legal frameworks show considerable variety with regard to the definitions and categories of third-country nationals admitted for business purposes, and the facilitations that are made available. The combination of four elements (incentives, procedural facilitation, qualifying criteria and enhanced rights) may provide an indication of the level of openness to the targeted categories of third country nationals.
  • Few specific instances of misuse/abuse of the investor route by third country nationals are reported. For the other categories, the main sectors where misuse/abuse has been reported include: construction, catering, IT services, transport, accomodation, trading and financial services, retail, agriculture and cleaning services.
  • The pool of Member States demonstrating impacts is larger in the case of business owners. Investments generated by non-EU business owners in Member States where data was available amounted to nearly EUR 8 billion and is supporting the creation of nearly 53,000 jobs.
  • One of the main challenges in the design and implementation of policies to attract and admit third-country nationals for business purposes, is to ensure a balance between selective admission criteria able to prevent and reduce abuses and yet provide for favourable channels for genuine third-country investors and business owners. Furthermore, the complexity of administrative procedures and ensuring coordination among competent authorities in charge of the implementation of policies is an obstacle to attract immigrant investors and immigrant business owners.
  • A number of good practices and lessons learnt in attracting and admitting third-country nationals for the purpose of business reflect the need for Member States to find ways to balance flexibility with certainty and match the demands of investors and business owners for longer visas and permits.

Please find additional details in the attached Inform.

Publication Date:
Wed 06 May 2015
Main theme:
Publication type: