Visa formalities: information/assistance provided about national legislative procedures, including visas and a resident’s card/permit, which are required from a researcher/family member coming from a third country in order to legally reside in the host country.
Work permit: information/assistance provided about the legal authorization that allows a person who is not a citizen of a given country to be employed in it.
The first contact with the host country is crucial for every foreigner, not only for a researcher coming from a third country. One of the most important targets of the EURAXESS Services Network should be to facilitate the researcher’s first move from his or her country of origin to the host country, which primarily involves obtaining a visa and/or a work permit.
To make their move easier and faster, the European Union issued a Council Directive on a specific procedure for admitting third-country nationals for the purpose of scientific research in October 2005. The transposition to national legislations, allowing slight content modifications, was due by Member States by October 2007. From this period on, we started referring to what is now known as the Scientific Visa.
In order to foster awareness of the existence of the Scientific Visa, many EURAXESS Service Centres organized conferences, workshops and seminars on this topic inviting professional speakers from competent authorities. Additionally, trainings for the entire national network also took place including the topic of entry conditions (see Austria 3, Croatia 1, Germany 3, Poland 9).
Many centres also employ a legal expert who is best equipped to interpret the new legislation and the changes it has brought on for researchers and host organizations. This expert legal and professional advice is often requested (see Austria 7, Poland 9).
If they do not have access to a legal expert, Services Centres have to establish good and lasting relationships with national authorities dealing with the issue of entry conditions (i.e. Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Alien Police Departments). On the basis of this cooperation, in some countries, EURAXESS is regarded as an added value for facilitating entry procedures and its staff members are considered experts in mobility issues (see Croatia 1, Czech Rep 7, Greece 2, Ireland 9).
The Directive could also be transposed so that the long-term permit granted for scientific research were also a work permit. This advantage of the Scientific Visa has been applied in the Czech Republic, for example (see Czech Rep 7).
The introduction of the so-called “Researcher Hosting Agreement Scheme” in Ireland has facilitated the admission of third country nationals and their family members, whose data are stored in a central electronic database of hosting agreements (see Ireland 1).
Personal assistance is highly appreciated and often required from the EURAXESS network members, even before researchers’ arrival at the host destination (see Czech Rep 7, Portugal 2, Spain 3, Spain 4).