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Updated : 06/10/2014

living-abroad

Students' residence rights

Staying abroad for up to 3 months

As an EU national, you have the right to study in another EU country. If you stay there for less than 3 months, all you will need is a valid identity card or passport.

In many EU countries, you need to carry a national identity card or passport at all times.

In these countries, you could be fined or temporarily detained if you leave these documents at home - but you cannot be expelled just for this.

Check whether there is any obligation to carry an ID or passport at all times in your host country:

Choose country

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Common rights across EU countries


* Information not yet provided by national authorities

Reporting your presence

Some EU countries require you to report your presence within a reasonable period of time after arrival and may impose a penalty, such as a fine, if you fail to do so.

Equal treatment

During your stay, 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.

Even if you are staying as a tourist, you should not, for example, have to pay higher fees to visit museums or when buying transport tickets, etc.

Exception: Some EU countries may decide not to grant you and your family income support for the first 3 months in that country or a maintenance grant for studies before you qualify for permanent residence.

Expulsion

Your new country can, in exceptional cases, decide to expel you on grounds of public policy, public security or public health - but only if it can prove you represent a serious threat.

The expulsion decision must be given to you in writing. It must state all the grounds and specify how you can appeal and by when.

Staying abroad for more than 3 months

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.

National authorities may not require your income to be above the level that would qualify you for basic income support.

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.

Registration

During the first 3 months of your stay in your new country, you cannot be required to register (to get a document confirming your right to stay) but can do so if you wish.

After 3 months in your new country, you may be required to register with the relevant authority (often the town hall or local police station).

Find out how to register your residence abroad .

Equal treatment

During your stay, 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.

Exception: Some EU countries may decide not to give students maintenance grants for studies before they qualify for permanent residence.

Request to leave / expulsion

You may live in the other EU country as long as you continue to meet the conditions for residence. If you no longer do so, the national authorities may require you to leave.

In exceptional cases, your new country can decide to expel you on grounds of public policy or public security but only if it can prove you represent a very serious threat.

The expulsion decision or the request to leave must be given to you in writing. It must state all the grounds, and specify how you can appeal and by when.

Permanent residence

If you have lived legally in another EU country for 5 years continuously - as a student - 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.

You can lose your right to permanent residence if you live outside the country for over 2 consecutive years.

Permanent residence document

Find out how to have a permanent residence document issued to certify your right to stay unconditionally.

Equal treatment

During your permanent stay, you enjoy the same rights, benefits and advantages as nationals, under the same conditions.

Expulsion

In exceptional cases, the country where you live can decide to expel you on grounds of public policy or public security but only if it can prove you represent a very serious threat.

The expulsion decision must be given to you in writing. It must state all the grounds, and specify how you can appeal and by when.

Help and advice

Help and advice

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Footnote

or a national of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway

Retour au texte en cours.

In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

Retour au texte en cours.

In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

Retour au texte en cours.