Migrant access to social security and healthcare: policies and practice (EMN Inform)
This Inform summarizes the main findings of the corresponding EMN main study aimed at analyzing policies and practices regarding entitlements to social security and healthcare for third-country nationals in EU Member States.
This EMN Inform summarises the main findings of the EMN Main Study on Migrant access to social security and healthcare: policies and practice which aimed to:
- outline the formal EU and national rules that shape entitlements to social security and healthcare for third-country nationals in EU Member States
- examine how these entitlements compare to the entitlements of Member State nationals
- investigate the administrative practices that determine how the formal rules on eligibility for third-country nationals are applied in specific cases, especially when implementing the ‘habitual residence test’ and other eligibility rules that contain a discretionary element
- review the reciprocal agreements that exist between EU Member States and third countries that affect the entitlement to social security and healthcare of certain groups of migrants.
Inform: some findings
- Significant variations exist in relation to the range of benefits available in Member States, the way these benefits are financed (insurance contributions, general taxation or both) and the conditions under which the benefits are granted.
- Member States use different mechanisms to regulate access by third-country nationals to social security benefits, including migrant-specific eligibility rules (particular residence permit, authorisation of stay or visa) as well as eligibility rules that apply to third-country nationals and Member State nationals alike.
- 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; but significant variations appear in the material scope/geographical coverage of these bilateral agreements.
The Inform provides more information on (i) what provisions are made in EU's Migration Directives for third-country nationals to access social security benefits, (ii) what systems of financing social security benefits exist in Member States, (iii) what national rules shape access to social security benefits by third-country nationals, (iv) what administrative practices affect the take-up of social security by third-country, (v) what type of provisions do Member States include in bilateral social security agreements reached with third countries.