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13/01/2014

The legislation that applies to workers in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and in Switzerland. Practical guide

Social Europe – December 2013




The practical guide on the 'Habitual Residence Test', drafted in cooperation with Member States, clarifies the separate concepts of ‘habitual residence’ and ‘temporary residence’ or ‘stay’. These definitions, laid down in EU law (Regulation EC/883/2004 as last amended by Regulation EU/465/2012), are necessary to establish which Member State is responsible for the provision of social security benefits to EU citizens moving between Member States.
The guide recalls the specific criteria to be taken into account to determine a person's place of 'habitual residence' such as:
  • family status and family ties
  • duration and continuity of presence in the Member State concernedemployment situation 
  • exercise of a non-remunerated activity
  • in the case of students, the source of their income
  • how permanent a person's housing situation is the Member State where the person pays taxes reasons for the move
  • the person's intentions based on all the circumstances and supported by factual evidence.
The guide also provides concrete examples and guidance on cases in which the determination of the place of residence can be difficult, such as frontier workers, seasonal workers, posted workers, students, pensioners, and highly mobile inactive people.

author(s): European Commission
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