Third-Country Nationals now covered under EU social security coordination regime

Posted on Dec 27, 2010

A new provision extends the applicability of the social security coordination regime to include a third-country national who is a legal resident of an European Union or European Economic Area country who is working in a different EU/EEA country. For example, this would include a U.S. citizen who is legally resident in Belgium but who is temporarily assigned to work in Romania.

The current social security coordination regime, set forth in Reg. (EC) 883/2004 and Reg. (EC) 987/2009, took effect on 1 May 2010, replacing Reg. 1408/71 (EEC). Previously, the regulations omitted covering a legal resident of an EU/EEA country who is not an EU/EEA citizen, and who is working or staying in another EU/EEA country. The new third-country national coordination provision corrects this omission–except in United Kingdom and Denmark, which have exercised their right to opt out.

It will be noted that the United States, Canada, and other major non-EU/EEA countries have social security treaties with the principal EU/EEA countries and, therefore, their residents may not be affected by this change; however, they will benefit if they are working in one of the other EU/EEA member states where there are not treaties. (The US has social security treaties with 19 of the 31 EU/EEA countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom.)