Last checked : 25/10/2018

Workers - residence rights

UK decision to invoke Article 50 of the TEU: More information

For the time being, the United Kingdom remains a full member of the EU and rights and obligations continue to fully apply in and to the UK:

You have the right to live in any EU country where you work, as an employee, a self-employed person or as a posted worker.

Staying abroad for up to 3 months

Have your national identity card (ID) or passport readily available

As an EU national, the only requirement to stay in another EU country for less than 3 months is to hold a valid national identity card or passport.

In many EU countries, you need to carry an identity card or passport with you at all times.

In these countries, you could be fined or temporarily detained if you leave your identity documents at home - but you cannot be forced to return to your home country for this reason alone.

Check if you have to carry an ID or passport with you at all times in your host country:

Choose country
  • Greecegr
  • Hungaryhuenhu
  • Icelandis
  • Irelandieen
  • Italyitenit
  • Latvialv
  • Liechtensteinlien
  • Lithuanialtenlt
  • Luxembourgludeenfr
  • Maltamtenmt
  • Netherlandsnlennl
  • Norwaynoen
  • Polandplenpl
  • Portugalptenpt
  • Romaniaroenro
  • Slovakiask
  • Sloveniasi
  • Spainesenes
  • Swedenseensv
  • United Kingdomgben

* Information not yet provided by national authorities

Report your presence

Some EU countries require you to report your presence to the relevant authorities within a reasonable period of time after arrival. They may impose a penalty, such as a fine if you fail to do so.

Find out more on reporting your presence.

Deportation

In exceptional cases, your host country can deport you on grounds of public policy, public security, or public health - but only if it can prove you represent a serious threat.

The deportation decision 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.

Staying abroad for more than 3 months

You have the right to live in any EU country if you work there.

Register your residence

During the first 3 months of your stay, your host country cannot require you to register your residence. You can do so if you wish.

After 3 months, your host country may require you to register your residence with local authorities, to show that you're working there and obtain a document confirming your right to stay.

Find out how to register your residence abroad.

If you lose your job

If you lose your job while living in another country, you can still stay there if you are:

Request to leave and deportation

You may live in the other EU country as long as you continue to meet the conditions for residence. If you no longer meet these requirements, 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 serious threat.

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. 

Permanent residence

If you have lived legally as a worker 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 for as long as you want.

Your continuity of residence is not affected by:

You can lose your right to permanent residence if you live outside the country for more than 2 consecutive years.

Permanent residence before 5 years

You may qualify for permanent residence in less than 5 years in any of the following situations:

Permanent residence document

Find out how to get a permanent residence document: it will certify your right to stay in your host country unconditionally.

Deportation

In exceptional cases, the country where you live permanently can decide to deport you on grounds of public policy or public security - but only if it can prove you represent a very serious threat.

The deportation decision 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.

EU legislation

Need more information on rules in a specific country?

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

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