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Residence rights for non-EU family members

Residence rights for non-EU family members
By Euronews
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“I am an Italian citizen who has been offered a permanent job in Germany. Is my American husband entitled to live and work in Germany?” asks Federica from Rome.

“If you are working in one of the 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, as an employee, self-employed or on a posting, your non-EU spouse can stay there with you without having to meet any other conditions. As a Italian citizen working in Germany, this also applies to your American spouse.

Your husband must register with the authorities and apply for a residence document in the new country, (often the town hall or local police station), within 3 months of arriving. To do so he will need: – a valid passport – your registration certificate as an EU national or any other proof of your residence in that country – proof of your family relationship, such as a marriage certificate

On the residence card it should be clearly stated that it is a residence card of an EU national family member. If all is in order, the authorities should deliver the residence card within 6 months.

During their stay in your new country, your family members should be treated as nationals, notably as regards access to employment, pay and benefits facilitating access to work, enrolment in schools, etc.

After living legally in another EU country continuously for 5 years, your non-EU spouse automatically acquires the right of permanent residence there without having to meet any further conditions – they can stay as long as they want even if they don’t work and need income support.
Bear in mind that other conditions may apply in the case of registered or de-facto partnerships, as well as if you are not working,” says Europe Direct Communication Officer Cristina Brandini.

If you want to ask a question, go to the euronews website or on our social media pages.

For further information about the EU call 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or go to

If you would also like to ask a question on Utalk, click on the button below.

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