Last checked: 02/04/2022

Registering your residence abroad

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

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 servicesOpen as an external link.

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.


EU legislation

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