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Workers and pensioners

Updated : 10/2013

EU family members

My other relatives / non-registered partner

Staying abroad for up to 3 months

As EU nationals, your partner and relatives have the right to stay with you in another EU country or up to 3 months under the same conditions that apply to you.

Check conditions and formalities for:

Staying abroad for more than 3 months

Your partner or relatives may live in your new EU country under the same conditions that apply to EU nationals.

Check conditions and formalities for:

If they do not meet these conditions (for example, you work and your partner stays at home with your baby), they may still stay with you in your new country as your family members:

  • Relatives other than your husband or wife, (grand)children or (grand)parents may stay if they are:
    • seriously ill and need you to take care of them personally,

      or
  • Partners may stay if they are in a long-term relationship with you.

The authorities in your new country will take a decision on a case-by-case basis, taking into account your personal circumstances and their own national conditions.

EU law guarantees for your partner or dependent relatives that they:

  • have their application to live with you in your new country assessed by the authorities of that country
  • receive a written decision as soon as possible
  • can appeal if their application is rejected. Rejections must state the grounds and the implications for your partner or relatives, and specify how they can appeal and by when.

Workers

If you are working in another country – as an employee, self-employed or on a posting, the authorities will certainly take this into account when deciding whether your partners/relatives can stay.

Pensioners

If you are a pensioner, you will have to prove that you have (for your partner or relatives):

  • sufficient income to live without income support
  • comprehensive health insurance in your new country.

National authorities may not require the income to be above the level that would make your family qualify for basic income support in that country.

Registration

Your relatives or partner should apply for a registration certificate with the authorities (often the town hall or local police station) within 3 months of arriving.

They may stay in another EU country with you under the same administrative conditions that apply to EU nationals.

Check conditions and formalities for:

If they stay as your family members, they will need the following documents to obtain their registration certificate.

  • valid national identity card or passport
  • your registration certificate or any other proof of your residence in that country
  • proof of their family relationship with you
  • proof they are dependent on you or there are serious health grounds requiring you to take personal care of them
  • for partners, proof of long-term relationship.
  • if you are a pensioner, proof of sufficient income and proof you have comprehensive health insurance for your partner or relatives in that country.

No other documents may be requested.

The authorities should make their decision as soon as possible.

If the application is accepted, your relatives/partner will get a registration certificate.  This certificate confirms their right to live in that country; it states their name and address and the registration date.

The certificate should cost no more than nationals pay for identity cards.

It should be valid indefinitely (does not have to be renewed), though they may need to report any change of address to the local authorities.

In many countries, they will need to carry their registration certificate and identity card/passportat all times. If they leave them at home, they may be fined, though they can't be expelled just for this.

If you have problems in obtaining a registration certificate for your partner or family members, you can call on our assistance service.

Equal treatment

During their stay in your new country, your relatives/partner should be treated as nationals of the country, notably as regards access to employment, pay, benefits facilitating access to work, enrolment in schools etc.

Request to leave / Expulsion

Your relatives or partner may live in your country with you as long as they continue to meet the conditions for residence. If they no longer do so, the national authorities may require them to leave.

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

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

Permanent residence

As EU nationals, your relatives and partner can acquire the automatic right of permanent residence if they have lived legally in the other country for 5 years continuously, under the same conditions that apply to you.

Find out more on applicable conditions for:

If your relatives or partner had been authorised to stay with you as family members, they will also acquire the automatic right of permanent residence after having continuously lived in the other country for 5 years.

Acquiring permanent residence means that they will enjoy the same rights, benefits and advantages as nationals – they can stay as long as they want, even if they don't work and need income support.

They can lose their right to permanent residence if they live outside the country for over 2 consecutive years.

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

Workers

If you were working or self-employed in another EU country and died before acquiring permanent residence there, your relatives/partner who were also living with you as family members may receive special treatment. This may include permission to stay permanently if:

  • your death resulted from an accident at work or occupational disease

    or
  • at the time of your death, you had lived continuously in that country for at least 2 years.
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Footnote

or a national of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway

Retour au texte en cours.

other than your spouse, (grand)children and (grand)parents

Retour au texte en cours.

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

Retour au texte en cours.

other than your spouse, (grand)children and (grand)parents

Retour au texte en cours.

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

Retour au texte en cours.

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.

or a national of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway

Retour au texte en cours.

or a national of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway

Retour au texte en cours.