Economically inactive EU citizens
Affected by Brexit?
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
I need help
If you think that your rights under EU law are not being respected, contact our assistance services.
As an EU citizen, you have the right to move to any EU country for a period of up to 3 months as long as you have a valid identity card or passport. If you want to settle in another EU country but you have no intention to take up any work or education there, you need to prove that you:
have sufficient resources for you and your family during the time you want to stay in your new country
have comprehensive health insurance
Reporting your presence and registering your residence
During the first 3 months of your stay in your new country, as an EU citizen, 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:
proof of comprehensive health insurance
proof you can support yourself without needing social assistance benefits: resources may come from any source, including from a third person.
Can you be requested to leave or be deported?
You may live in the other EU country as long as you continue to meet the conditions for residence. If you no longer do so, the national authorities may require you to leave.
In exceptional cases, your host country can deport you on grounds of public policy or public security - but only if it can prove you represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society.
The deportation decision or the request to leave must be given to you in writing. It must state all the reasons for your deportation and specify how you can appeal and by when.
If you have lived legally, meeting the conditions to stay in another EU country for a continuous period of 5 years, you automatically acquire the right of permanent residence there. This means that you can stay in the country as long as you want, you are entitled to be treated as a national of that country and you enjoy more protection against deportation. You can apply for a document certifying permanent residence.
Your continuity of residence is not affected by:
temporary absences (less than 6 months per year)
longer absences for compulsory military service
one absence of 12 consecutive months, for important reasons such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, work, vocational training or a posting to another country.
You can lose your right to permanent residence if you live outside the country for more than 2 consecutive years.
If you are economically inactive but you are joining a family member who is an EU citizen residing legally in a host EU country, you can stay there as their dependant.
- how your EU family members can join you
- how your non-EU family members can join you
- what documents you may need to submit