Under Directive 2004/38/EC on the right to free movement, EU citizens have the right to free movement and residence after three months when registering at the relevant authorities of the host Member State. Although this right to stay is unlimited as long as the conditions set out by the Free Movement Directive are fulfilled, the documents issued as a result of registration might be issued with a definite validity time.
Hungary issues registration certificates of unlimited duration, but Hungarian authorities are finding that this makes it more difficult to identify in official statistics whether EU citizens remain in Hungary or leave permanently.
They therefore asked the following question in this ad hoc query:
Do documents issued for EU citizens according to Directive 2004/38/EC have validity period, and if yes, what validity periods are applied in these cases?
16 countries, including Norway responded to the query. Half of the countries (including Norway) issue registration certificates with unlimited validity, and the other half issue certificates with 5 or 10-year validity.