Europe has become a new destination for legal and illegal immigration, so it has made its migratory policies stronger, especially towards Africans. However, due to the Schengen agreement, any community or extra community immigrant can access to European territory, as long as they manage to gather the requirements established by the European Union.
Europe has always been a continent that generates constant migrations towards lands of the new world, such as the United States of America, Latin America and Australia, mainly as a result of the world wars and the economic crisis that generated hunger and unemployment.
The situation has changed while the European countries have managed to get their economical development, many of them becoming first class countries, mainly with economic and political stability; however, the variation of the economic conditions of the world and the strength of powerful economies such as the ones in China and the United States, have forced the European countries to create the European Union.
The European Union was created back in the year 1993 with seven original country members; nowadays, it is conformed by 27 countries such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hunger, Island, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Holland, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Rumania, Sweden.
These achieved levels of development have caused the population pyramid to be inverted in these societies, with an ageing and older population due to the reduced birth rates, which, on the long term, reduce the economically active population in the European continent.
Where the job demand – offer gap is produces is, precisely, in the agriculture and construction sectors, which require non qualified work force, especially men, as well as women in the services sector related to domestic activities and child care; and the places from which these immigrant workers provide are from countries in eastern Europe, the African countries and the Latin American countries, due to the economic crisis, the lack of opportunities and the political problems.
Countries such as Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Holland and Belgium are the main receptors of the immigrating population, for which we must point out that the chart has closed and Europe has become the new legal and illegal immigrant destination.
The illegal immigration has become a nightmare for the Europeans, mainly because of the Africans, who use all the resources they have got to get to Europe, inclusively through the sea, exposing their lives, just like it can be seen in the television news. This is why the European Union has imposed strong restrictive policies to be able t reduce this permanent harassment, inclusively working with African countries, which function as platforms to illegally immigrate to Europe.
But, how to access to the territory to any of the 27 countries that are part of the European Union in a legal way? That is something that can be done by any foreign citizen of Latin American or American origin who, because of his or her condition of descendents from immigrant European citizens (Italians, Spaniards, British, French, Irish, Belgian, among other) access to the citizenship of the European country that corresponds to them, which automatically generates the European citizenship and, therefore, they are able to enter to the territory of any of the states that are member of the European Union.
The Latin American or American descendants from European immigrants are known as community immigrants and they have the right to reside, work and study in the territory of the European Union, as well as any other born European citizen; this means that, for all the known effects, they are recognized as community citizens. To be recognized as community immigrants, the process which corresponds to what is demanded by the European Union about it must be applied.
Those immigrants who do not descend from Europeans are known as extra community immigrants and their legal access to the European territory is as tourists for a period of up to three months, the access to work will depend on if their countries of origin have signed free circulation agreements with the European Union or not. Those who decide that they want to work under those circumstances become illegal immigrants and they are subject to detentions and the expulsion of the European territory.
The visa that an extra community immigrant must process in order to be able to work in the European territory is known as the Schengen VISA and it must be processed in any of the embassies or consular offices of the European countries that have subscribe themselves in the Schengen Agreement. They are valid for up to three months.
It is necessary to state that in this type of visa, the access of the immigrant to the territory of the European Union will be permanently evaluated every time he or she uses it, having to demonstrate that he or she has enough money to eat, health insurance and that he or she has already a return flight scheduled.
In all the cases, those who pretend to immigrate to Europe must have an adequate command of the English language, as well as from other community language.
Most of the legal extra community immigrants also arrive for study, work or asylum reasons.
Summing up, the legal immigration is a strike against the European Union and they try to fight it with the Schengen visas, which allow the access to the European territory.