Freedom of Movement for EU-Citizens

Freedom of Movement for EU-Citizens

Every citizen of the European Union, the EEA countries (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and Switzerland has the right to

  • seek and take up employment (freedom of movement for workers)
  • become self-employed (freedom of establishment)
  • offer cross-border services (freedom of services)

Even without taking up employment you can stay in Germany for an unlimited period of time if your livelihood is secure and you have health insurance (general freedom of movement).

A residence or work permit is not required. For EU citizens and EEA nationals, registration with the registration office (“Anmeldung”) is sufficient. Swiss citizens still receive a declaratory certificate (residence document-CH).

EU law, which is generally more generous, applies to family reunification with EU citizens:

    • Parents, grandparents or older children can join under certain conditions
    • an application can be submitted after entry and
    • proof of language skills is not required for the reunification of spouses.

These regulations apply to family members of German nationals only if they have previously exercised their right to freedom of movement in another member state.

If there is actually no right to freedom of movement, the foreigners authority can determine the loss of the right to freedom of movement. As the JobCenters are obliged to notify benefit applications, legal advice is strongly recommended before applying for SBG II benefits.

As EU citizen your are in principle entitled to equal social rights. You may only be excluded from JobCenter benefits if you do not have the right to freedom of movement or are only in Germany to search for work. As many legal questions in this area have not been conclusively clarified, it is advisable to seek legal advice.

Our Specialist (Fachanwalt) in Immigration Law is Sven Hasse

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