Residency

As an EU national you have the right to free movement throughout the European Union

Source: Your Europe – Residence

As an EU national you have the right to free movement throughout the European Union

During your stay in your new country, you should be treated as a national of the country, notably as regards access to employment, pay, benefits facilitating access to work, enrolment in schools etc.

If you stay there for less than 3 months, all you need is a valid identity card or passport.

Staying abroad for more than 3 months

Workers
You have the right to live in any EU country where you work, are self-employed or have been posted to.

Pensioners
If you are a pensioner you may live in any EU country if you have:

  • comprehensive health insurance cover there
  • sufficient income (from any source) to live without needing income support.

Students
You have the right to live in any EU country for the duration of your studies if you:

  • are enrolled in an approved educational establishment
  • have sufficient income (from any source) to live without needing income support
  • have comprehensive health insurance cover there.

You could lose your right to stay in the country if you finish your studies and cannot prove you are in work or still have sufficient resources to support yourself.

Permanent residence

If you have lived legally in another EU country for 5 years continuously – as student, an employee posted abroad, a pensioner or self-employed person – you automatically acquire the right of permanent residence there. This means that you can stay in the country as long as you want.

Your continuity of residence is not affected by:

  • temporary absences (less than 6 months a year)
  • longer absences for compulsory military service
  • one absence of 12 consecutive months, for important reasons such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, work, vocational training or a posting to another country.

Former employees and self-employed workers

You may qualify for permanent residence earlier, if you have stopped working because:

  • you have retired and have worked in the country for the last year or have lived there continuously for 3 years
  • you are no longer able to work and have lived in the country continuously for 2 years
  • you are no longer able to work due to an accident at work or occupational disease – in this case you have the right to remain regardless of how long you have lived in the country.

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