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Updated : 30/06/2014

work

Work-related rights

Working

As an EU national, you don't need a work permit to work in another EU country and can live there for that purpose - subject to certain conditions.

Exception - Croatian nationals still face temporary restrictions on working in the EU.

More on:

Temporary EU working restrictions

Self-employed workers should not require a work permit within the EU. If you are told you need one, you can ask for help here.

If you start a new business, you should be aware that the formalities still vary widely within the EU - though you can get help with them from the points of single contact in each country.

Living

If you work in another EU country, you and your family are automatically entitled to live there.

Any conditions that do apply depend on whether you have an employment contract or are self-employed.

  • If you have an employment contract you're entitled to live in another EU country, even if not working full-time or working on a fixed-term contract.
  • If you are self-employed you're entitled to live in another EU country if you're engaging in stable and continuous economic activity there.

The administrative formalities to stay abroad legally vary depending on how long you stay.

Equal treatment and benefits

As EU nationals working in another EU country, you and your family are entitled to be treated as nationals of that country. This means you are entitled to the same benefits as native workers from the day you start working there.

You are therefore entitled to receive benefits granted to nationals of the country because they are working there (employed or self-employed). This may also include advantages not directly connected to employment (reduced train fares, top-up pensions, educational grants, or unemployment benefits for your children when looking for their first job).

You may also be eligible for non-financial benefits (e.g. the right to interpretation during legal proceedings).

If you live in the country, you will also be entitled to receive benefits granted to workers and their families for living there.

If you live in a different country from where you work (cross-border commuter), you will acquire the right to live there even if you are not a national: if you work across the border, you will be considered as having sufficient means to support yourself.

Sample story

Find out which benefits you're entitled to in your new country

Rosita is from Italy, but lives and works in France with her husband and 3 children. She applies for a discounted train pass for large families, but had it refused because neither she nor her children are French.

Rosita should insist and, if necessary, seek help from the various EU assistance services. Indeed, all EU workers with large families (in many countries, 3 or more children) are entitled to cheaper train travel in the country where they work from the day they start work - if such reductions exist and are offered to nationals of that country.

Staying abroad after losing your job

If you lose your job while living in another country, you are still entitled to live there. Check conditions and formalities.

Help and advice

Help and advice

Haven't found the information you need? Do you have a problem to solve?

Get advice on your EU rights

Solve problems with a public body

Footnote

or a national of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland

Retour au texte en cours.

In this case, the 28 EU member states + Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland

Retour au texte en cours.

In this case, the 28 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

Retour au texte en cours.

In this case, the 28 EU member states + Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland

Retour au texte en cours.