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Moving throughout the EU: What You Need to Know

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If you are a resident of the European Union, you might be familiar with the relative ease of moving throughout the member nations. This was intentional; now, this process is worth a second look in light of changes in the EU. 

The specific details of your move depend on the origin nation and the destination nation. Additionally, factors like your nationality and status (employed, job seeking, contractor or freelance, a student, and so on) will be considered.

The structure of the European Union is intended to make the move among member nations simple, while preserving your social security rights. Furthermore, the freedom to live and work in any member nation is a fundamental principle of the union.

A good place to start is at Europa.eu, which will walk you through the administrative formalities you’ll need to address prior to your move. Here, there are special sections for families, various lengths of visits, and more helpful information.

Image of the globe, focusing on Europe

Image by Michael Gaida from Pixabay 

According to the European Commission, European citizens are entitled to:

  • look for a job in another EU country
  • work there without needing a work permit
  • reside there for that purpose
  • stay there even after employment has finished
  • enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages

A note on the Brexit: one of the tensions that contributed to the split was the increasing concern of foreign labor influencing wages in the market.

Image of the skyline in London

Between Ireland and the UK, a Common Travel Area (CTA) is currently established and honored. This rule grants residents of Ireland and the UK the freedom to travel between the nations.

The UK, for the purposes of the Common Travel Area, covers England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (Citizens Information).

The withdrawal of the UK from the EU will not disrupt the CTA. Furthermore, the rights will continue to be protected, no matter what the outcomes of the various aspects of the Brexit turn out to be.

One thing that will change post-Brexit, however, is that all goods entering the rest of the UK from Ireland will be taxed. Fortunately, this is a very specific situation and will not impact the majority of global employees moving within the EU for work. 

Image of a train in the EU

Image by Ann San from Pixabay 


Want to learn more about moving in Europe? Here are a few reads to get started:

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