The Residence Permit Directive
Council Directive 2004/81/EC of 29 April 2004 on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings or who have been the subject of an action to facilitate illegal immigration, who cooperate with the competent authorities
The directive applies to non-EU nationals regardless of whether they have entered the EU illegally. Permits can be granted to those who have reached the age of majority in the respective EU country and may apply to children under the conditions set out in national laws. Persons concerned must be informed of the possibilities offered under this directive by the competent authorities of the relevant EU country. Non-EU nationals are granted a reflection period to recover and to escape the influence of the perpetrators of the offences. This allows them to make an informed decision on whether to cooperate with the investigating authorities.