Document rules to be eased for EU citizens relocating within EU

10 Jun 16



What is the change? EU citizens will no longer be required to authenticate most documents when moving to another member state under a regulation approved Thursday by the European Parliament.

What does the change mean? The regulation will ease intra-EU moves by removing the lengthy and onerous Apostille and legalization processes. The regulation will also abolish requirements that applicants submit certified copies and certified translations, and instead allow EU citizens to attach standard-issued multilingual versions of the documents.

  • Implementation time frame: EU member states have up to 2 ½ years to adopt the new rule.
  • Visas/permits affected: Official public documents, such as birth, marriage, education, and criminal records.
  • Who is affected: EU citizens moving to, or residing in, another EU member state.
  • Impact on processing times: The rules will reduce document preparation time by several weeks to several months.
  • Business impact: The change, once implemented, will have a positive impact on companies sending EU nationals to work and live within the EU.
  • Next steps: The regulation will be published in the EU Official Journal, and member states must interpose the regulation into national laws within 2 ½ years after the publication date.

Background: Currently, EU citizens moving to, or already residing in, another EU member state must obtain authentication stamps on public documents when submitting them to authorities in the new state. The regulation will remove this requirement as well as requirements to submit a certified copy and certified translation. Each country may still regulate which types of documents are recognized and accepted.

According to the European Commission, approximately 13 million EU citizens live in a member country other than their own and “these time-consuming formalities are excessive and unnecessary and impair the enjoyment by citizens of their rights under the Treaties.”

BAL Analysis: The regulation will reduce bureaucratic hurdles and improve mobility for EU nationals and ease the relocation of employees within Europe.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact

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