Last checked: 18/02/2020

Registering your residence abroad

Affected by Brexit?

Questions and Answers – the rights of EU and UK citizens, as outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement

On 1 January 2021, the rules for EU citizens living in or moving to the UK will change. The same applies to UK nationals living in or moving to an EU country.

I have permanent residence in the UK/EU or will acquire it during the transition period

In principle, you and your family members will continue to have permanent residence in your host country. This includes non‑EU family members. In the UK, you must however apply to the EU settlement scheme to be granted a new residence status. In the EU, check with your host country’s authorities as soon as possible if it is mandatory to apply for a new residence status.

I reside in the UK/EU but am not yet entitled to permanent residence

In principle, you and your family members will continue to keep your current residence in your host country. This includes non‑EU family members. In the UK, you must however apply to the EU settlement scheme to be granted a new residence status. In the EU, check with your host country’s authorities as soon as possible if it is mandatory to apply for a new residence status.

I want to move to the UK/EU

You and your family members may move to the UK or to an EU country under the current EU rules until 31 December 2020. This includes non‑EU family members. In the UK, you must then apply to the EU settlement scheme. In the EU, check with your host country’s authorities whether you have to register and if it is mandatory to apply for a new residence status.

I want to go to the UK/EU for a short stay

Current rules on reporting presence, registering your residence abroad, registering your EU family, registering your non-EU family continue to apply until at least 31 December 2020.

I need help

If you think that your rights under EU law are not being respected, contact our assistance services.

Detailed information on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and citizen’s rights

During the first 3 months of your stay in your new country, as EU national, you cannot be required to apply for a residence document confirming your right to live there - although in some countries you may have to report your presence upon arrival.

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

You will need a valid identity card or passport and:

You do not need to provide any other documents.

When you register, you will get a registration certificate. This certificate confirms your right to live in your new country.

Your registration certificate should be issued immediately and cost no more than the price nationals pay for identity cards.

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

Find out where and how to register in your host country:

Choose country

* Information not yet provided by national authorities

If you are required to register, you may be fined for not doing so but may continue to live in the country and cannot be expelled just for this.

In many countries, you will need to carry your registration certificate and national identity card or passport at all times. If you leave them at home, you may be fined but cannot be expelled just for this.

If you have problems getting your registration certificate, you can call on our assistance services.

See also how to:

Sample story

You can start work without waiting to register

Kurt is a German who moved to Belgium to work as an independent lawyer in a partnership. When he went to register at the town hall, he was told he couldn't start working until he'd received a registration certificate.

This is incorrect: as an EU national, Kurt may work as a self-employed person without waiting for a registration certificate. In any case, the authorities must issue a registration certificate immediately when asked.

FAQs

EU legislation

Need more information on rules in a specific country?

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