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SMART Visa for Students from the Western Balkans – Challenges and Possible Solutions

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SMART Visa for Students from the Western Balkans – Challenges and Possible Solutions
International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), King Baudouin Foundation
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This research study, “Smart Visa for students from the Western Balkans – challenges and possible solutions”, has been developed in the framework of the research phase of the of the project “Smart Visa for Students from the Western Balkans” and aims at clearly describing status quo in the EU and selected countries, highlighting good practice and making recommendations for change. The aim has been to establish a consistent knowledge base regarding admission of students, comprising rules, regulations and practices on this area to provide a basis for an assessment of actual possibilities and obstacles for students. The project has continuously aimed at actively involving those actors on national and EU level that foster policies influencing the area of the project. Both on EU and national level, the subject matter of the project is exposed to multiple policy influences and involves actors dealing with several different issues such as entry, admission, education and economy as well as enlargement. The project looks at students as a group, and investigates possibilities and challenges for students from the Western Balkan region to pursue short and long term travel for study purposes in the EU and selected EU countries. In analysing this, the study follows important developments on EU level regarding short-term stay. i.e. the recently concluded negotiations of visa facilitation agreements and regarding long-term stay, i.e. the implementation of the EU Directive 2004/114/EC on the conditions of admission of third country nationals for the purpose of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service.
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