Let's suppose I'm a citizen of Italy, France and Belgium and let's suppose I own 3 houses in Bologna, Italy; Paris, France; and Brussels, Belgium. As far as my supposed countries of citizenship are concerned, can I be considered, by each one of them, one of their own residents? (Meaning, can I be considered a French residing in Paris and having it on French ID, an Italian living in Bologna and having it on Italian ID and a Belgian living in Brussels and having it on ID?)

2 Answers 2


Presumably you are asking a legal question and not hoping to generate opinionated discussion. In which case, it matters what country we are talking about. In the US, there is a legal concept "lawful permanent resident" which you can apply for (if you are legally here, reside here for 5 years, and are of good moral character). This comes with a number of rights not enjoyed by visitors.

In addition, every state has a concept of "residence", in that state: it is not at all uniform, so you have to look it up for each purpose and state. For instance, fishing and hunting requires a license in that state – the requirements are different for residents vs. non-residents (cheaper for residents). The requirements for "being a resident" are not the same – in Washington you must have lived in the state for at least 90 days. You are required to present a state ID card – but you must exchange your out of state driving license within 30 days of becoming a resident. For purposes of driving licenses, you can "become a resident" on the day you move to the state, and you can prove residency by registering to vote, receiving state welfare benefits or declaring residency for state license or tuition purposes. In other words, at the state level, "residence" is not a coherent concept.

In the EU, there is a legal concept of long-term resident who is not an EU citizen but has been living legally in the EU – Articles 4-7 spell out the requirements for being classed as a long-term resident (living legally and continuously in the country for five years, study periods partially excluded; proof of financial independence; not being deemed a terrorist. Becoming a resident of India is much harder – you have to either be ethnically Indian, or invest millions of dollars. The law in Tanzania is a bit murky, but at least in 1997 amounted to filling out a form and paying a fee (assuming you are already in the country on a non-visitor visa) – you then are entitled to lower "resident" rates as opposed to "visitor" rates for example in hotels.

As far as I can tell, the whole point of the EU is to say "We don't care, you can live in Paris, Brussels, Bologna". If you're a citizen of France, you can reside anywhere in the EU, and there is no issue of considering you to be a "resident". The only time it matters if you have people not citizens of the EU who want to reside in one of more EU locations, and there's a provision for that (which however not all member countries implement). This article gives some details on country-specific conditions no long-term resident status.

  • @abdul For the area of the EU, you are confusing residence laws with residence permits. The goals stated in the provided link that they should be treated in the same mannor as locals. The question asked is how local citizens are treated in each country (Belgien, France and Italy), which differs since the residence laws in each country differs. Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 12:36

Yes, depending on the local registration laws of the country in question, when you have a residence in that country.

You can also be a resident of multiple countries under the same conditions.

You can also be considered a non- resident citizen of your own country.

In the European Union, Residence Laws are national laws

  • only for periods up to 3 months are there generel EU Laws

So to answer the question under what conditions is someone from

  • Belgium, France or Italy

considered a resident, you must look at the countries residence laws (if they have one at all).

This has nothing to do with residence permits.
A resident permit only allows a foreigner to stay in a country.
A foreigner must still fulfill the local Residence Laws, where they exist, as a citizen of that country must also do.


Moving to Belgium | Belgium.be

Belgians who are returning home
If you were registered at an embassy or consulate, and are now definitively returning to Belgium, it is in your interests to notify them before you leave.

In principle, you should report to your new municipality within eight working days of your arrival in Belgium. After confirming your main place of residence you are recorded in the national register. Your new municipality will notify the municipality where you had your main residence before you moved abroad. If this municipality still holds your administrative records, they will forward them to your new municipality.

As soon as you have been registered the procedure starts for issuing a new identity card.

Foreign nationals

The free movement of persons applies within the European Union, making the residence rules for EU citizens much more flexible than those for the citizens of other countries. "Free movement" also applies to countries in the European Economic Area (EEA): in addition to the EU states, these are Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein. However, there are transitional rules for certain new EU Member States.

Registering with the municipal authorities
If as a foreign national you wish to stay in Belgium for longer than three months, you must report to the municipality in which you are staying within eight days of your arrival. You must be registered on the National Register; and for that you must have an actual place of residence in this municipality.

  • both Belgians and Foreigners share the common procedure of registering with the municipal authorities


France residence Wikipedia

France utilizes a national identity card (carte nationale d’identité sécurisée or CNIS), an official non-compulsory identity document. The address information on the card is merely derived from other documents like electricity bills. There is no requirement to notify change of address, which leads to the situation that the current address is often verified by showing bills relating to the current home.[citation needed]

Registering your residence abroad - France

If you are an EU citizen, you don't need to register after 3 months in France. All EU citizens have the right to live and settle in France

However, you can get a residence permit if you wish.

  • Registration at their place of residence is voluntary

(3rd Country) Foriegners

Arrival in France | France-Visas.gouv.fr

What you need to do in France
Long-stay visa with the obligation to apply for a residence permit
If the visa issued to you is a long-stay visa indicating an obligation to apply for a residence permit, you must complete this process within two months of arrival and contact the prefecture of your place of residence.

  • Registration at their place of residence is mandatory


The Immigration Portal (Translated to English)

EU citizens who intend to settle in Italy, or in another European Union state, no longer have the obligation to request a residence card but, after three months of entry, it is necessary to register in the registry office of the municipality of residence ; no formalities are required for stays of less than three months.

Italy - Residence of individuals

An individual who moves to Italy must apply for registration with the Record of the Italian Resident Population in the municipality (comune) where they intend to reside. At the end of the stay in Italy, the individual is required to apply for the cancellation of their name from the Record of the Resident Population.

While registered, you are considered to be a tax resident.

An Italian citizen who transfers to a foreign country has to cancel oneself with the Records of the Italian Resident Population and has to register with the Records of the Italian resident abroad, the Anagrafe Italiani Residenti Estero (AIRE).

The first paragraph is for all persons, where as the second is specific to Italian citizens

Italian citizens who fail to register with AIRE while abroad, often face huge tax bills when returning.

The conditions can differ radically between countries, depending on the local resident laws (where they exist).

In Belgium you are considerd a resident while registered in

  • National Register

In France you are considerd a resident when registered at the

  • local prefecture, which is only mandatory for 3rd Country Foriegners

In Italy you are considerd a resident while registered at the local

  • Record of the Italian Resident Population in the municipality (comune)

Assumptions should never be made, since the non compliance of local residence laws can have consequences.

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