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 Post subject: European Union Freedom of Movement
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011 13:19 
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This guide should help you better understand your rights when moving within the
European Union and give you detailed practical guidance. 
The guide takes account of EU law as of April 2010.

It is not a legally binding document and is not exhaustive. Neither the
European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission
is responsible for the use which might be made of the following information.



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Cover © Istockphoto.co

To view the Document in PDF format visit this link: Guide to Free Movement in Europe

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 Post subject: Re: European Union Freedom of Movement
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011 13:38 
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    What does it mean to be an EU citizen?

    EU citizenship

    Any person who holds the nationality of an EU country is automatically also an EU citizen. EU citizenship is additional to and does not replace it.

    EU citizenship gives every EU citizen a number of important rights, including:

  • the right to move freely around the European Union and settle anywhere within its territory;

  • the right to vote or stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections in the EU country in which you reside, even if you are not a national of that country;

  • the right to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any EU country in a third country (country outside the EU) where your home EU country is not represented by a consulate;

  • the right to petition the European Parliament, to apply to the Ombudsman, and to write to any of the EU institutions or bodies.

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 Post subject: Re: European Union Freedom of Movement
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011 14:01 
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    This guide is about your right to move and reside freely around the EU. You can find out more information about your other rights as an EU citizen on the European Commission’s online
    information portal,


    Right to free movement

    This right is one of the most visible advantages of the European Union for individual citizens. Around 11 million EU citizens have taken advantage of this right and now live in another EU country. Many more of them travel regularly to other EU countries for business or as tourists without checks within the Schengen area or they enjoy fast-track checks at borders.

    Article 21(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union stipulates that every EU citizen has the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the EU countries, subject to the limitations and conditions laid down in the Treaties and by the measures adopted to give them effect.

    Applicable EU legislation

    The relevant legal framework is Directive 2004/38/EC* (hereinaƒ er referred to as the Directive). It became applicable for all EU countries on 30 April 2006. The Directive codified and reviewed the existing EU instruments in order to simplify and strengthen the right of free movement and
    residence for all EU citizens and their family members.

    You can download the Directive at:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2004:158:0077:0123:EN:PDF

    * Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States amending Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 and repealing Directives 64/221/EEC, 68/360/EEC, 72/194/EEC, 73/148/EEC, 75/34/EEC, 75/35/EEC, 90/364/EEC, 90/365/EEC and 93/96/EEC

    The Directive has been transposed by each EU country into their national legislation. If you want to find out more about your rights in a particular EU country, you should consult the applicable national laws.

    The Commission issued Guidelines in July 2009 on how EU countries could better transpose the Directive into their national laws and how the Directive could be more eff ectively applied in
    everyday life. You can download the guidelines at:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2009:0313:FIN:EN:PDF


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 Post subject: Re: European Union Freedom of Movement
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011 14:11 
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    Who can benefit from the right to move and reside freely? Is this right reserved only for EU citizens or can you bring your Russian spouse with you? And what about your Brazilian grandfather who is seriously ill and you have to take personal care of him?

    EU citizens and their families!

    EU citizens and their family members (even if they are not nationals of an EU country) are covered by the Directive.

    But only if you move to another EU country or return home after living in another EU country

    The Directive only applies if you actually move to or reside in an EU country other than that of which you are a national, and to your family members who accompany or join you.


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 Post subject: Re: European Union Freedom of Movement
Post Number:#5  PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011 14:17 
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    You are also entitled to benefi t from the rights granted under the Directive if you return home after having resided in another EU country.

    In certain circumstances you may benefit from the Directive without having resided in another EU country, for example by providing services in another EU country without residing there.


    Who is an EU citizen?

    As explained above, an EU citizen is any person who holds the nationality of an EU country.

    Who is a family member?

    Your family members, irrespective of their nationality, have the right to accompany or join you in an EU country other than that of your nationality. This right applies regardless of whether they have previously been residing in another EU country or with which visa the family member entered the host EU country.

      Spouses, (registered) partners, descendants and ascendants are your family members.

    For each category, the defi nition is the following:

  • Spouse ............................ your spouse, irrespective of when and where the marriage took place;


  • Registered partner ....... your partner with whom you have concluded a registered partnership on ..........................................the basis of the legislation of an EU country – however, the registered ..........................................partner has the right to accompany or join you only in the EU countries ..........................................which treat registered partnerships as equivalent to marriage;


  • Descendants ................. your direct descendants (i.e. children, grand-children, etc.) who are under ..........................................the age of 21 or are dependants and those of your spouse or registered ..........................................partner;


  • Ascendants ................... your dependent direct relatives in the ascending line (i.e. parents,
    .........................................grand-parents, etc.) and those of your spouse or registered partner.

    The family members referred to above enjoy the rights granted by the Directive when they join or accompany you and the EU countries are obliged to recognise their rights.

    What about other family members?

    Other family members such as siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles and other relatives have the right to have their entry and residence facilitated by the host EU country if:

    • they are dependant on you; or
    • they are members of your household; or
    • where serious health grounds strictly require your personal care.

    Your non-dependant parents or children of more than 21 years would also benefi t from the right to have their entry and residence facilitated if they live with you.

    EU countries cannot automatically exclude a particular category of family members.


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 Post subject: Re: European Union Freedom of Movement
Post Number:#6  PostPosted: 19 Dec 2011 15:52 
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    And other partners?

    The same right to facilitated entry and residence is also granted to your partner with whom you have a durable duly attested relationship. This covers same and different sex partnerships and de facto partnerships, such as cohabitation (where both partners are living together).

    Registered partners moving to an EU country which does not treat registered partnerships
    as equivalent to marriage fall under this category as well.


    Right to reside

    The group comprising other family members and partners have no ‘automatic’ right to accompany you to the host EU country or join you there. Their rights are subject to the host EU country’s discretion.

    They have the right to have entry and residence ‘facilitated’. This essentially means that the host EU country should examine their family ties with you and, if they consider that you form a genuine family, they should be treated on the same footing as family members such as spouses or children.

    The host EU country is obliged to undertake an extensive examination of their personal circumstances and refusal of entry and residence to those family members must be justified, notified in writing and is subject to an appeal.


    Where can I find more?

    You can find the precise legal wording on the matter covered in this section in Articles 2 and 3 of the Directive.


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 Post subject: Re: European Union Freedom of Movement
Post Number:#7  PostPosted: 20 Dec 2011 07:12 
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    In which countries can you exercise this right?

    You can benefi t from these rights in the EU…

    You can bene t from the right to move and reside freely in any EU country. is
    includes the Azores, Madeira (Portugal), the Ǻland Islands (Finland), the Canary
    Islands, Ceuta and Melilla (Spain) and the French overseas departments. It also
    applies to Gibraltar.

    It does not apply to the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, the Faeroe Islands
    (Denmark) or to overseas countries and territories.


    in Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway…

    You can also benefi t from the right in Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway, because these
    countries participate in the European Economic Area. Similarly, nationals of these three
    countries can move and reside freely within the European Union.


    and have certain rights in Switzerland

    The Directive does not apply in relation to Switzerland. However, you can enjoy certain
    rights in Switzerland on the basis of the 1999 EU-Swiss Agreement on Free Movement of
    Persons and the Protocols. These rights are more limited than those granted under the
    Directive. You can download the Agreement at


    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/Lex ... 02A0430(01):EN:HTML



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 Post subject: Re: European Union Freedom of Movement
Post Number:#8  PostPosted: 20 Dec 2011 07:13 
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    You would like to move to another EU country…
    what kind of documents do you need to prepare before you leave?


    National ID card or passport is all you need

    As an EU citizen, you should always be able to cross the border with
    a valid national identity card or passport.


    You do not need to have an identity card with a machine readable zone or passport with validity of at least another 3 months… if the travel document is valid, you are in the clear. EU countries cannot oblige you to present only a passport or only an identity card. It is your right to choose which travel document and this right cannot be limited. You do not need an entry visa.

    As you may be required by national authorities to prove your identity for security reasons
    at any time, you should always carry your identity document.



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 Post subject: Re: European Union Freedom of Movement
Post Number:#9  PostPosted: 20 Dec 2011 08:10 
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    Have you lost or forgotten your passport or ID card?

    Should you get to the border and realise that you do not have your identity card or passport with you, the border offi cials cannot turn you back before giving you every reasonable opportunity to obtain the necessary documents or have them brought to the border officials within a reasonable period of time.

    You can also prove by other means that you are covered by the right of free movement and residence, for example by providing evidence of your identity and nationality.


    Rules for your family members

    Your family members who are EU citizens themselves are covered by the same rules.

    Those family members who are not nationals of an EU country [so-called third country family members] may enter the host EU country with a valid passport. If they come from certain countries which are subject to visa obligations, they may be required to have an entry visa.


    Countries whose nationals must have an entry visa are listed in Regulation (EC) No 539/2001, or under national law in the case of the United Kingdom and Ireland.


    Entry visas?

    EU countries are obliged to grant your third country family members every facility to obtain the necessary visas. These should be issued free of charge as soon as possible and on the basis of an accelerated procedure. The Commission considers that delays of more than four weeks are not reasonable.

    EU countries may only require entry visas for your family members; they may not require
    family or residence visas.


    What documents are required?

    The right of entry of your third country family members is derived from their family ties with you, an EU citizen. All the consular offi cials can ask for is their passport and a document establishing their family ties with you, such as a marriage or birth certifi cate and proof of dependence, where applicable. Your family members cannot be asked to present documents such as travel tickets, employment certifi cate, pay slips, bank statements, proof of accommodation and means of subsistence or a medical certifi cate.

    Passport without a visa?

    Your family members cannot be automatically turned back at the borders if they do not have a valid passport or, if required, an entry visa, as long as they are able to prove their identity and family ties with you.


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 Post subject: Re: European Union Freedom of Movement
Post Number:#10  PostPosted: 20 Dec 2011 08:49 
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    Residence card = no visa required

    Possession of a valid residence card issued by any Schengen EU country (see below) exempts the family members from the visa requirement in other Schengen EU countries.

    If your third country family members move between a Schengen EU country and a nonSchengen EU country, they can also be exempted from the visa requirement if they have a valid residence card issued to them as family members by an EU country other than that of your nationality.


    Boarding a flight

    You should be able to board an intra-European fl ight with a valid passport or identity card (your third country family members with a valid passport). Other identity documents could be accepted in accordance with the internal rules of the respective carrier.

    Where can I find more?

    You can find the precise legal wording on the matter covered in this section in Article 5 of the Directive.

    Schengen rules

    What about moving within the Schengen area?

    What is the Schengen area?

    The Schengen area is a zone inside the European Union where there are no internal border controls. In this zone, the ‘Schengen rules’ apply.

    The majority of EU countries (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden), plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are part of the Schengen area.

    Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania and Liechtenstein are not yet fully-fl edged members of the Schengen area, since the border controls between them and the Schengen area are maintained until they meet the conditions for abolishing them.

    The United Kingdom and Ireland are outside the Schengen area as they have chosen to maintain border controls with other EU countries.


    Border checks on EU citizens

    EU citizens crossing the external borders receive are subject only to a minimum check and can use separate lanes dedicated to EU citizens.

    Removal of border controls means that passports or identity cards no longer have to be shown when crossing internal borders between Schengen EU countries. However you should always carry your passport or identity card as your right of free movement and residence is conditional on you being able to present these documents on request.


    … and their family members

    Your family members who are EU citizens themselves are covered by the same rules.
    Your third country family members can enter the Schengen area with an entry visa, if required (see above), and can travel freely throughout it because the uniform visa is valid for the entire territory
    of the Member States.


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