A practical guide on the ‘Habitual Residence Test’ to help Member States apply EU rules on the coordination of social security for EU citizens that have moved to another Member State has just been published by the European Commission. The new guide gives more clarity about the EU ‘Habitual Residence Test’ and will facilitate its application in practice by Member States’ authorities.
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 MemberState concerned
– employment situation (in particular the place where such activity is habitually pursued, the stability of the activity, and duration of the work contract)
– 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 MemberState where the person pays taxes
– reasons for the move
– the person’s intentions based on all the circumstances and supported by factual evidence.
Other facts may also be taken into account if relevant.
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.
For example, if a UK national retires to Portugal and spends most of their time in Portugal, their place of ‘habitual residence’ is now Portugal even if they still own a house in the UK and maintain cultural and economic ties to the UK.