Updated : 12/2012
If you are receiving unemployment benefit from the country where you became unemployed, going abroad to look for work will not affect your (or your family's) rights (health insurance, family allowance, invalidity or old age pension rights, etc.).
To ensure that you and your family are covered by health insurance during a temporary stay abroad, do not forget your European Health Insurance Card.
Once you have found a job, different social security rules will apply.
Get information on national social security systems.
If you are not receiving any unemployment benefits and want to look for work in another EU country, you will be entitled to social security cover (health insurance, family allowance, etc…) in your country of residence.
Your country of residence is the country where you usually live or where your centre of interest is. A list of criteria helps social security authorities assess which country is to be considered as the place of residence. These criteria include:
The decision on which country is to be considered your place of residence will be made by the social security authority and not by yourself.
Even if you do not have sufficient resources to support you and your family, you cannot be forced to leave your new country as long as you can prove that you are still looking for a job and have a good chance of finding one.
Keep copies of your job applications, invitations for interviews and any other replies to your applications.
EU law doesn't oblige your new country to grant income support or any other kind of social assistance to jobseekers looking for a job for the first time in that country.
Bjorn from Germany was claiming his German unemployment benefits in Belgium. When his U2 form (former E 303 form) expired, Bjorn decided to stay in Belgium and applied for unemployment benefits there but his application was turned down.
Under Belgian law, Bjorn is not entitled to unemployment benefits in Belgium as he never worked there. EU law doesn't oblige EU countries to grant income support or any other kind of assistance to jobseekers looking for a job for the first time in the country. He may ask the local authorities if he is entitled to support on the basis of national rules.
In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.