I'm not in this situation, but I'm just wondering. I know EU citizens have the right to work/live in any EU country, but is it the same if you just have residency from an EU country?

  • 1
    I am a permanent resident in Italy and I'm allowed to work in Iceland. Apr 12, 2017 at 22:15

3 Answers 3



Right now you get a visa, which gives you right to live and work in one particular country.

There are plans to change that using EU Blue Card scheme (see also in Wikipedia), but it has not been yet fully implemented. And even so, at this point it's not 100% clear that it will implement freedom of relocation between member states.

If the country you're resident at is a member of Schengen zone, you are free to travel as a tourist to other Schengen countries without need for visa. Unlike EU/EEA citizens, you still need visa if you travel to EU/EEA countries, which are not members of Schengen.

  • +1 Note that the EU blue card would offer some people a way to gain the right to work in several EU countries but not automatically give that right to third country nationals who have another status in one of the member countries.
    – Gala
    May 26, 2014 at 17:05
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    Permanent residents have a right to establish residence in another EU country under directive 2003/109/EC, but Denmark, the UK, and Ireland have opted out.
    – phoog
    Aug 19, 2017 at 12:46

As @vartec explained it's not generally the case. There are several ways non-EU nationals can gain a right to reside elsewhere in the EU:

  • The EU blue card is an attempt at creating an EU residence card for some categories of migrants. It has not been fully implemented and does not cover all EU countries. In any case, it's a new residence permit on top of the already existing (national) ones, not something that would be granted to all residents.
  • Directive 2003/109/EC on long-term residents creates some EU-wide rights for specific categories of non-EU nationals. In practice, it should make it easier to transfer your right of residence from one EU country to another once you have lived 5 years in the first country.
  • Family members have a right to reside with an EU citizen making use of his or her treaty rights or with a permanent resident using 2003/109/EC.

In all cases, those rights are restricted to specific categories of people (highly skilled migrants, people with permanent residency and a job, etc.) and explicitly exclude others (students, refugees, etc.). Residence in one EU country therefore does not, in and of itself, entail the right to live and work in other EU countries and even a broader implementation for the EU blue card would not change that.

  • Denmark, the UK, and Ireland have opted out of directive 2003/109/EC.
    – phoog
    Aug 19, 2017 at 12:47

No. Blue card just an attempt, but its half cooked, half baked. In the end you have to meet the local requirements and regulations. Still, if you carry a higher degree, being EU resident open multiple doors for you. Company start shortlisting you while ditching who are non-Eu residents.

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