What applies to me as an EU citizen in the case of free movement?
Hi Lawline,I'm currently a UK citizen and plan to move to Sweden. I will be moving in with my friends who are Swedish citizens. I understand I have the right to live and work in Sweden as currently I belong to an EU country. I also know I will need to sign on to the electrical register and gain a personal number. I also know I need to have health insurance. Is there anything I should be aware of or and rules/laws I maybe don't know?I will be renting a room at my friend's place while I look for work and my own place to live. Am I entitled to any benefits whilst looking for work or studying?
Hello and thank you for contacting us at Lawline with your question!
Free movement is one of the most fundamental elements of the EU cooperation. As part of free movement, citizens of EU countries (citizens of the Union) who meet certain conditions have an automatic right of residence, ie the right to stay in another EU-country. As a citizen of the United Kingdom, during a transitional period after Brexit, you still have the opportunity to take advantage of free movement within the EU. The transition period is valid until 31 December 2020. The free movement arises from Directive 2004/38 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States and is implemented in Swedish law through Chapter 3a Aliens Act (2005:716).
In order to have a temporary right of residence, ie up to three months, nothing is required other than that the Union citizen has a national ID card or a passport. However, the right may cease if the citizen of the Union becomes an "unreasonable burden" on the host Member State's social assistance system (Art 14.1 Directive 2004/38). An alien staying more than three months in Sweden must have a residence permit unless a visa has been granted for a longer period (Chapter 2 Section 5 Aliens Act). 'Right of residence' means a right for EEA nationals and their family members to stay in Sweden for more than three months without a residence permit in accordance with what is stated in Chapter 3a (Chapter 3a Section 1 Aliens Act). An EEA national has a right of residence if he or she (1) is a worker or a self-employed person in Sweden, (2) has come to Sweden to seek work and has a real possibility of obtaining employment (2), is enrolled as a student at a recognised educational institution in Sweden and, according to an affirmation to this effect, has adequate assets to support himself or herself and family members and has comprehensive health insurance for himself or herself and family members that is valid in Sweden or (4) has adequate assets to support himself or herself and family members and has comprehensive health insurance for himself or herself and family members that is valid in Sweden (Chapter 3a Section 3 Aliens Act). The right of residence exists as along as the conditions are satisfied (Chapter 3a Section 5 Aliens Act).
As an UK citizen you can still use the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States within the transition period. If you wish to stay for more than three months you need to fulfill what is stated in Chapter 3a Section 1 Aliens Act. Union citizens who are deemed to have a right of residence in Sweden have the same right to social assistance as Swedish citizens. It is a consequence of the principle of equal treatment under EU law. It also means that the social services can make the same demands on these people as Swedish citizens, for example with regard to the obligation to contribute to their own livelihood according to their ability. Union citizens who have no right of residence in Sweden, for example someone who has applied here without realistic opportunities to assert themselves in the Swedish labor market and therefore, for example, have to beg for their livelihood, are generally only entitled to necessary assistance to avert an emergency. What it is, the social services must assess from case to case. In practice, this often means occasional assistance with food, accommodation and travel back to the country from which the EU or EEA citizen comes. If you plan to stay for more than three months, I recommend that you meet the requirements in Chapter 3a Section 1 Aliens Act.
If something is unclear or you need further help from one of our lawyers, you are welcome to contact me by e-mail for a quote and further contact. I can be reached for the purpose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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