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DIRECTIVE 2008/115/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals

For the purpose of this Directive the following definitions shall apply:


‘third-country national’ means any person who is not a citizen of the Union within the meaning of Article 17(1) of the Treaty and who is not a person enjoying the Community right of free movement, as defined in Article 2(5) of the Schengen Borders Code;


‘illegal stay’ means the presence on the territory of a Member State, of a third-country national who does not fulfil, or no longer fulfils the conditions of entry as set out in Article 5 of the Schengen Borders Code or other conditions for entry, stay or residence in that Member State;


‘return’ means the process of a third-country national going back — whether in voluntary compliance with an obligation to return, or enforced — to:

his or her country of origin, or

a country of transit in accordance with Community or bilateral readmission agreements or other arrangements, or

another third country, to which the third-country national concerned voluntarily decides to return and in which he or she will be accepted;


‘return decision’ means an administrative or judicial decision or act, stating or declaring the stay of a third-country national to be illegal and imposing or stating an obligation to return;


‘removal’ means the enforcement of the obligation to return, namely the physical transportation out of the Member State;


‘entry ban’ means an administrative or judicial decision or act prohibiting entry into and stay on the territory of the Member States for a specified period, accompanying a return decision;


‘risk of absconding’ means the existence of reasons in an individual case which are based on objective criteria defined by law to believe that a third-country national who is the subject of return procedures may abscond;


‘voluntary departure’ means compliance with the obligation to return within the time-limit fixed for that purpose in the return decision;


‘vulnerable persons’ means minors, unaccompanied minors, disabled people, elderly people, pregnant women, single parents with minor children and persons who have been subjected to torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence.

Article 3 – Affum C-47/15
Article 3 – M. A. a.o. Case C‑673/19

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