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Updated : 23/06/2015

FAQs - Workers' and pensioners' residence rights

  • I forgot to register at the town hall after being in another EU country for 3 months. Will I be expelled?

    NO - You cannot be expelled. However, depending on the country, you may be fined for failing to register when required.

  • I've been working legally in another EU country for more than 5 years. Can the authorities there still ask me to prove I'm employed there when I renew my registration certificate?

    NO - After 5 years, you are automatically entitled to permanent residence in your new country. You should not renew your registration certificate but apply for a permanent residence document, which confirms that you have the right to stay there even if you do not work or need income support.

  • I travel to another EU country several times a year for work, staying for a maximum of 1 week each time. Do I have to undertake any formalities?

    NO - If you stay for less than 3 months each time, the only formality you might have to undertake is to report your presence, if the country requires it.

  • I'm self-employed and have recently moved to another EU country. I'm not required to register there for the first 3 months. Can I start working before I register?

    YES - You're allowed to work whether or not you have a registration certificate.

  • I have independent resources and am planning to move to another EU country. Do I need to prove to the authorities there that I have sufficient means to support myself?

    YES - If you can prove you have sufficient resources and comprehensive health insurance valid in that country, you can stay there for more than 3 months.

  • I'm a Finnish pensioner planning to move to Italy. I'm able to support myself with my pension and have full health insurance linked to my pension, which covers me in Italy. If I can prove this, am I entitled to become a permanent resident?

    NO - Not straight away. The Italian authorities will initially issue you with a registration certificate. If you then stay in Italy continuously for 5 years, you will acquire the right to become a permanent resident. Once you have that right, you can no longer be required to prove you have sufficient resources to stay in Italy.

  • I'm a Danish pensioner and moved to Italy 5 years ago. 2 years ago I had to go back to Denmark for medical surgery and spent 10 months there. Will I still be entitled to become a permanent resident in Italy?

    YES - Your "continuity of residence" requirement is not affected by absences of less than 12 months for serious health reasons.

  • I'm an Italian project officer, on a 7-month posting in Belgium, ending in 3 months' time. I'm staying in my Belgian girlfriend's flat (free of charge). Am I exempt from compulsory registration in Belgium, as I don't have a rental contract or pay any utilities there?

    NO - You still have to register as soon as possible. In Belgium, this is compulsory for all EU citizens staying for longer than 3 months. You cannot be expelled if you don't register, but you may have to pay a fine.

  • I've been living in another EU country for 6 years. Can I be considered a permanent resident?

    YES - You can apply for proof of that status from the national authorities.

  • If I go to another EU country as a tourist, are there any formalities to complete?

    NO - If you stay there for less than 3 months, you can only be asked to report your presence to the authorities - but this is usually done by the hotel where you're staying.

  • I spend 2 months of every year in my seaside flat in another EU country. Do I have to register at the town hall?

    NO - If you stay for less than 3 months, all you might need to do is report your presence, if that country requires it.

  • I am Austrian and have been offered a job in another EU country, but it is part-time and not well paid. Could the local authorities deny me the right to stay?

    NO – As long as you can show that your work is a real and genuine economic activity, you have a right of residence in the country where you work.
    As a worker on a low income, you have the same right as national workers on low incomes to social assistance. You can't be denied your right of residence because you don't have sufficient resources to support yourself and any family members dependent on you.
    The same rules apply if you are a self-employed worker with an activity that does not generate sufficient income.


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