Expatriation allowance and Foreign Residence allowance

Expatriation allowance and Foreign Residence 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

The European Commission ‘Expatriation allowance’ is one of allowances paid to employees of EU institutions if they had to relocate from another EU Member State for work.


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.

Remember about the Correction Coefficient

As all allowances, the Expatriation Allowance and the Foreign Residence Allowance are indexed by the Correction Coefficient. You can read about this in a separate article on the Correction Coefficient, where you will also find out the actual amount of the above allowances you will receive, based on the location of your EU institution or place of employment if your deployed not at the HQ.

This article is based on the European Commission Staff Regulations and other publicly available information such as EU institutions’ vacancy announcements.

Do you have question or suggestion for this article? Please share in a comment below and let’s make this resource better for you and other readers!

60 responses to “Expatriation allowance and Foreign Residence allowance”

  1. Hi,

    I was recently offered a temporary role (FGIV) at the JRC in Ispra. I am an Italian citizen, but I’ve been living outside the country since 2012, first in the Netherlands and then in the UK from 2015.
    However, I only registered to the local Dutch authorities in 2013 and spent a year (2013-14) studying for a MSc at a Dutch university.
    Does that fall into the definition of habitual residence? What documentation do I need to prove habitual residence?


  2. Ben, if you have been a contract agent working in a delegation for 2 years and then get a job also as a contract agent in a EC representation in your home country. Would you get the expatriation allowance?

    • I believe not. You would have to have officially resided outside your country of origin for ten years to qualify for this.

      Quoting from the article –
      “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.”

  3. Would I be eligible for the expatriation allowance if I have resided in a county where the organisation is situated for over 5,5 years working for another international organisation? I am an expat and not a national.

    Thank you!

    • I think that you would not be eligible. But you should check with your new EU institution’s HR.
      A lot might depend on the legal status of your residence – where you registered as a “resident” in a regular way, or some kind of exception in accordance with your previous institution’s ‘seat agreement’ or similar.

  4. Can I receive expat allowance if I have been living in Belgium for less than 5 years at the moment of hiring? or do you lose it if you have lived in the country at any time in the previous 5,5 years? It is not clear to me what it is meant by ‘during’ the past 5,5 years.

    Thank you

  5. What allowance am I eligible for if I am Belgian but lived in the US for 15 years until last May, when I started working as a temp (through a Belgian job agency) for the commission and now will be hired as a contract agent? My daughter is a student in the US, my husband and home still there… Thanks!

    • You might be eligible for the Expatriation allowance, provided that you can prove that you resided in the US for more than 10 years prior to your employment. However, the decision depends on a variety of factors and only your EU institution’s HR department will be able to provide a competent answer based on the documents you’ll submit. At least, you’ll be entitled to a decent relocation allowance in case you decide to move personal belongings back to Belgium. Best of luck!

  6. Dears,
    could a period of 6 years spent in Brussels before the hiring, with diplomatic status a spouse of a diplomat, registered in the country of origin, let to the Expatriation allowance?
    As set up in art 4:
    “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”

    Thank you for you interesting article.

  7. Hello,

    I will be working for ESA in the Netherlands and I would rent an appartment there. I have been living and working in Belgium for the last 20 years.

    My wife and kids will stay in Belgium. In this case, will I be receiving and expatriation allowance? Am I free to travel to Belgium once a week?

    What about the child allowance and the household allowance?

    thanks for looking into this

    • Hi! Read the article on the household allowance: https://euemployment.eu/european-commission-household-allowance/.
      I believe the answer is yes and yes – you should receive the expat allowance.

      Regarding travel to Belgium, EU institutions now have implemented permanent teleworking at least 2 days a week, which can be extened to three days a week with justification and management approval. Tehcnically, you are supposed to telework from the city where your institution’s HQ is located. However, in practice you have to see whether the institution checks this. You might be able to be in Netherlands during the in-office days, but travel home and be with your family on the teleworking days. Talk to more experienced colleagues and find out what’s the practice in your institution.

  8. Hi, I would be grateful for your advice. I got a job in an EU Agency in Poland. I have a Polish citizenship but have been living (and working) outside of Poland for the past 15 years, until now (2023). However in the meantime I did a 5 months traineeship in that EU Agency in Poland (in 2021). Do you think I would qualify for the expatriation allowance or this traineeship may be an issue (as it was in Poland)?

  9. Hello,

    I lived in beligum for 6 years, but moved back to poland (im still registered there with my parents although I have been registered in belgium too) for several months and now back in belgium. Would I get the expatriation allowance in this case?

    Thanks in advance

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