Students abroad in the EU: residence rights

Students – residence rights

You have the right to live in the EU country where you are studying for the duration of your studies if you:

  • are enrolled in an approved educational establishment
  • have sufficient income, from any source, to live without needing income support
  • have comprehensive health insurance cover there.
    National authorities may not require your income to be above the level that would qualify you for basic income support.

You could lose your right to stay in the country if you finish your studies and cannot prove you are working or have sufficient resources to support yourself.

Reporting your presence and registering 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 meet the conditions to stay as a student and obtain a document confirming your right to stay.

You will need:

  • proof of enrolment at an approved educational establishment
  • proof of comprehensive health insurance
  • declaration that you have sufficient resources to support yourself without needing income support: resources may come from any source

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 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 the reasons for your deportation and specify how you can appeal and by when.

Permanent residence

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.

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

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