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Updated : 25/04/2017

FAQs - If you don't find work

  • If I don't find a job in the other country and I come home earlier than stated in my U2 form (or E 303 form), can I try looking in a different country?

    YES — You can apply for a new U2 form to continue receiving your unemployment benefits (Ask the job centre which issued your original U2 form whether you'll have to go back home to apply for this new authorisation or you can do it remotely).

    The total period of your stay abroad (i.e. in all countries where you look for work whilst receiving unemployment benefits) may not exceed 3 months (with a possible extension up to 6 months, if the authority paying your benefits agrees).

  • How long may I stay in another country to look for a job there?

    The answer to this question is in 2 parts:

    Your right to stay in another EU country

    As an unemployed person looking for work, you may stay in the other country as long as you can provide evidence that you are looking for a job and have a good chance of finding one - copies of job applications, invitations to interviews, positive reactions to your applications, for instance. This is the case even if you have no income or have stopped receiving unemployment benefits.

    If you lose your job while living in the other country, you are still entitled to live there and have the same benefits as nationals if you are:

    • temporarily unable to work because of an illness or accident
    • registered with the relevant employment office as involuntarily unemployed after having:
      • been employed for over a year [ndash] or
      • been employed for less than a year (in this case, you retain the right to equal treatment with nationals for at least 6 months)
    • starting vocational training (if you are not involuntarily unemployed, the training must be related to previous employment).

    Your right to continue receiving unemployment benefits when you are abroad

    You can continue receiving your unemployment benefits while you look for a job in another country for 3 months. You'll be paid the same amount directly to your bank account in the country where you became unemployed. If you want to stay longer than 3 months, you can apply for a 3-month extension. You must apply directly to the national employment services in the country where you became unemployed.

    National authorities are not obliged to grant an extension. They will decide in the light of your personal circumstances. Some authorities grant extensions only in exceptional cases [ndash] for example if you have been ill or had an accident during the first 3 months. Others just require some proof that you are actively looking for work abroad (copies of job applications, for instance).

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