This EMN Inform summarises the main findings of the EMN Study on Migrant access to social security and healthcare: policies and practice.
Key points to note:
- The equal treatment provisions contained in the EU’s Migration Directives have influenced national legislation and practice, in particular as regards the social security rights of third-country nationals holding long-term residence permit and EU Blue Card holders.
- There appears to be a connection between the systems used to finance social security benefits and their accessibility by third-country nationals. Third-country nationals that are holders of long-term residence permits generally have access to all of the benefits reviewed in this study.
- However, equal treatment for third-country nationals that are holders of fixed-term residence permits tends to be granted more readily in relation to benefits that are financed through contributions by employers and employees.
- Member States use different mechanisms to regulate access by third-country nationals to social security benefits.
- In the majority of Member States, claiming social security benefits – in particular social assistance – can have some negative impact on the legal status of third-country nationals in procedures for residence permit renewal, applications for long-term residence permits, naturalisation and family reunification.
- Existing bilateral agreements on social security reached by Member States with third-countries extend access by third-country nationals to certain social security benefits, especially benefits that are contributory or partially contributory.
- Significant variations in the material scope and geographical coverage of these bilateral agreements mean that many third-country nationals may lose acquired social security rights when they move out of the European Union.