What are the Benefits of European Union Citizenship?

1. Freedom of Mobility in all 27 countries of the European Union
Throughout most of the EU, freedom of travel is also a major benefit of citizenship. The majority of the European Union countries are part of what is known as the “Schengen area,” which is an effectively borderless area through which EU citizens can travel freely without a passport and without being stopped by immigration officials. The Schengen area derives its name from an agreement that many of the original EU countries entered into in the town on Schengen, Luxembourg, with the aim of simplifying the ease of traveling in the EU.

2. International Mobility
You can travel to 145 countries in the world without a visa. 

3. Employment Mobility
An EU passport enables the holder to seek employment without immigration restriction. Someone with a Bulgarian citizenship, for example, can work in Germany, France, Italy, or any of the other member countries.

4. Residential Mobility
 Live in any EU member country you desire. Think of the possibilities as you seek the highest possible quality of life. With an EU passport, your "neighborhood" consists of the entire European Union. 

5. Education
As an EU citizen, you have the right to study in any other EU country. During your stay in one of the 27 countries of EU of your choice, you will be treated as a national of the country, in regards to school enrollment, admission and entry for University. You are entitled to study at any EU university under the same conditions as nationals. However, conditions of entry vary significantly between individual countries and universities. Regardless of the other entry conditions, you may not be refused access to training or education in another EU country on grounds of your nationality.

6. Tax Policy
As long as you have not lived nor currently living in any EU country, you do not need to pay taxes. You will usually be considered tax-resident in the country where you spend more than 6 months a year. The general rule is that unless you spend more than 6 months a year in any EU country, you will remain tax-resident in your home country. For more information please contact us. Simply enjoy the benefits of being European, and continue to live in your country.

7. Healthcare
A Portuguese Citizen is entitled to free emergency healthcare in his/her country. As an EU citizen, if you unexpectedly fall ill during a temporary stay abroad - whether on holiday, a business trip or to study - you are entitled to any medical treatment that can't wait until you get home. You have the same rights to health care as people insured in the country you are in. You should always take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you on all trips abroad. This card is the physical proof that you are insured in an EU country and it will simplify payment and reimbursement procedures. If you don't have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or you are not able to use it (for instance, for private health care), you cannot be refused treatment, but you may have to pay for it upfront and claim reimbursement once you get home. There is a big difference in procedures between unplanned healthcare (when you fall unexpectedly ill) and planned (if you travel abroad specifically in order to have medical treatment).

8. Consular Protection
Any EU citizen in a non-EU country where his/her own national state has no representation is entitled to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any other EU country. EU citizens are entitled to protection under the same conditions as the nationals of that country. When an EU citizen seeks such help, he/she must produce a passport or identity card as proof of nationality. If these documents have been stolen or lost, the embassy may accept any other proof. Diplomatic and consular representations giving protection have to treat a person seeking help as if he/she were a national of the EU country they represent. The protection offered by embassies/consulates of other EU countries includes:
* assistance in cases of death;
* assistance in cases of serious accident or illness;
* assistance in cases of arrest or detention;
* assistance to victims of robbery or violent crime;
* The relief and repatriation of distressed Union citizens.
For example: In case of an accident, robbery, sudden serious illness, or any other unexpected situation, you can go to the Consulate of Spain close to where you are and they will assist you. The Consulate can help get in touch with your family and in exceptional cases, the consular support economic nature refund, may apply. 

9. Academic Recognition
European Community member countries and countries belonging to the European Economic Area have signed up to multilateral agreements of the Council of Europe regarding Academic recognition of university qualifications ( December 15, 1959), and the UNESCO European Region Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees concerning Higher Education in the States belonging to the European Region (December 21,1979). A single Council of Europe/UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, substituting prior existing conventions, was adopted by the Lisbon Recognition Convention on April 11,1997.

10. Professional Recognition
Professional recognition differs depending on whether practice of the profession concerned is regulated in the host country, that is, if practice is conditional upon possession of one or more vocational training qualifications delivered in that Country, or whether practice of that profession is not subject to any specific national regulation. European Community legislation provides for automatic recognition of qualifications though the application of sectoral directives for various relevant professions, mainly in the medical or paramedical sectors. For other regulated professions, the European Commission has adopted two directives, 89/48 CEE and 92/51 CEE, establishing a general system for the recognition of qualifications. These directives allow all fully qualified persons to gain recognition of professional qualifications obtained by them in their country of origin in order to practice the regulated profession in another member Country. However, these two directives do not establish a system for automatic recognition of qualifications and the migrant may be subject to "compensatory measures" if the training he or she has received differs substantially from that required to practice professionally in the host country. Each member Country has a limited number of regulated professions. If a profession is not regulated in the host Country, approval of qualifications and of professional standards is the remit of the employer. However, if individuals may encounter difficulties in gaining recognition of their professional qualifications, in each European country there are national information centres associated with the NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centres) network or, in some countries, information centres that have been assigned exclusively to provide information on recognition of professional qualifications, are authorized to answer questions and issue accreditation of qualifications.

11. Driver Licence
As an EU citizen, your driver licence is valid in every country of the European Union.

Take your first step to your European Portuguese Passport now!

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