Expatriation allowance and Foreign Residence allowance

Expatriation allowance

This article provides an overview of the Expatriation allowance and Foreign Residence allowance paid to employees of EU institutions and the difference between them. If you are an expat (not a national of the country you are working in) you will usually be entitled to one or the other of these.

Expatriation allowance


Expatriation allowance equals 16 % of the sum of your total of your basic salary, household allowance and dependent child allowance.

For temporary agents AD5 that just start out it will amount to EUR 786,77 = 16% X (basic salary 4917,29 + household allowance + dependent child allowance).

For contract agents FG IV at grade 13 step 1 it will amount to at least EUR 568.96 = 16% X (basic salary 3555,98 + household allowance + dependent child allowance).

Important – the minimum Expatriation allowance is EUR 571,35 per month. If 16% of your basic salary is less than this amount, your Expatriation allowance amount will be increased.


For nationals of the country the institution is located in or “locals” – you will not receive the Expatriation allowance, unless during the ten years ending at the date of starting your employment you have “habitually resided” outside the European territory of your home country and were not a diplomat or employee of another international organisation.

For expats – you will receive the Expatriation allowance, unless you have “habitually resided” in the particular country during the preceding 5,5 years.

If you acquired the nationality of your host country through marriage automatically and cannot renounce it, you will continue to be entitled to either the Expatriation or the Foreign Residence allowance.

Foreign Residence allowance

If you are an expat and lived in the country of your EU institution for 5,5 years preceding your employment, then you will receive the Foreign Residence allowance.

The regular amount of the Foreign Residence allowance is 1/4 of the Expatriation allowance. The minimum amount is EUR 142.84 = EUR 571,35 / 4.

This article is based on the European Commission Staff Regulations and other publicly available information such as EU institutions’ vacancy announcements. As the EU legal documents and even information on the various websites are hard to understand, this post is one from a series of articles that try to make information about employment in the European Commission and other EU institutions more accessible.

Do you have any questions or suggestions for this article? Please comment below and let’s make this resource better for other readers!

3 thoughts on “Expatriation allowance and Foreign Residence allowance

  1. Hi! I’m quoting from the Staff Regulations here. Officials are entitled to the Expatriation allowance if “during the five years ending six months before they entered the service did not habitually reside or carry on their main occupation within the European territory of that State. For the purposes of this provision, circumstances arising from work done for another State or for an international organisation shall not be taken into account.”

    Unfortunately, I have not yet found guidelines or examples on how this article is to be applied in practice and how it applies to the two cases above. It seems to me that both Jason and Roman are out of luck when it comes to the Expatriation allowance, but I’d certainly love to see an HR interpretation. As usual, if you manage to clarify this, please share again here so that I can update the article for other readers. Thanks!

  2. Hi there! Re the sentence below:

    “If you are an expat and lived in the country of your EU institution for 5,5 years preceding your employment, then you will receive the Foreign Residence allowance.”

    Is there a time limit/guideline for how much of those 5,5 years you must have been resident in the country of employment in order to be disqualified for receiving the expat allowance.

    To make it clearer, would a temporary agent who has been living in Luxembourg for one year and is then offered a new contract at another institution be entitled to the expat allowance or would the foreign residence allowance apply instead?


    1. Same question here – if I will have habitually resided in Brussels for 2 years at the time of my contract start date (at a Brussels-based institution), would that be eligible for the expatriation allowance or just the foreign residence allowance (or nothing at all)?

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