Last checked: 02/04/2022

Jobseeker's family

If you are an EU citizen who's moved to another EU country to look for a job, EU rules make it easier for your family to join you. On this page, you can find out how your family members can join you.


Even if you are an EU citizen, if you have not moved to another EU country and live in your home country, EU rules do not apply. National rules will apply then.

Staying abroad for up to 6 months

If you are an EU national looking for work in another EU country, your husband or wife, (grand)children or (grand)parents, if EU nationals, may stay there with you, subject to the same administrative conditions that apply to EU nationals.

Check conditions and formalities for:

If your spouse, (grand)children or (grand)parents are not EU nationals or don't meet the residence conditions for EU nationals, they may still stay with you in your new country as family members of an EU national looking for a job.

Some EU countries require your family members to report their presence to the relevant authorities (often the town hall or local police station) within a reasonable period of time after arrival.

Residence card

Non-EU family members of EU citizens can be required to apply for a residence card.

Equal treatment

During their stay in your new country, your spouse, (grand)children and (grand)parents should be treated as nationals of the country, notably as regards access to employment, pay, enrolment in schools, etc.

Request to leave / Expulsion

Your spouse, (grand)children or (grand)parents may live in the country with you as long as they continue to meet the conditions for residence. If they no longer do so, the national authorities may require them to leave.

In exceptional cases, your new country can decide to expel them on grounds of public policy or public security, but only if it can prove they pose a very serious threat.

The expulsion decision or request to leave must be given to them in writing. It must state all the grounds and specify how they can appeal and by when.

Staying abroad for more than 6 months

Your spouse, (grand)children or (grand)parents, whether EU or non-EU nationals, can stay with you in your new country on certain conditions:

  • if you lost your job after working in your new country, you must be able to demonstrate that and meet the necessary conditions, OR
  • if you're looking for your first job in your new country, you must be able to prove that you're actively looking for work and you have realistic chances of finding it.

Sample story

Celia is German and works in Austria. She is married to Özgür, a Turkish national. Özgür, as Celia's husband, has been given a residence card to live and work in Austria. After 13 months, Celia loses her job. She registers with the Austrian employment service as unemployed and is looking for a new job. Both Özgür and Celia can continue to stay in Austria.


EU legislation

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