On 12 October 2005, the European Commission published the directive 2005/71 presenting measures for admitting third-country researchers in Europe. This is the "scientific visa", a familiar term used to define a permission to enter, stay and work in the EU for the purpose of carrying out scientific research. Legally speaking, it is more correct to speak about entry visa and residence permit for third-country researchers. More specifically, the scientific visa consists of three European instruments, a directive and two recommendations. Two of these instruments (the directive and one recommendation) cover long-term admission while the second recommendation addresses short-term visas that is entry for less than three months.
Whilst the Directive is legally binding on Member States, the two recommendations do not impose legal obligations on Member States – they rather constitute a political commitment to facilitate researchers' mobility.
The directive is fully transposed to Belgian law and comprises several parts:
Once a Research Organisation has been approved, it can sign hosting agreements that fall under this facilitated procedure. Approval is granted by the Federal Science Policy Office for a period of of 5 years.
On the basis of a hosting agreement signed by both parties, the researcher can submit an application for a residence permit lasting longer than three months to the Belgian diplomatic or consular post in the country of residence or place of stay abroad.
© 2010 Science Policy PPS