• Eight EU Countries Eliminate Work Permit Restrictions for Croatian Nationals
  • August 17, 2015
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Croatian nationals can now work without work permits in Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain, according to an official communication from the European Commission. Reciprocally, Croatia has eliminated work permit restrictions for the nationals of these EU member-states as well. Austria, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia and the United Kingdom have decided to maintain their restrictions for another three years. The next EU-wide review of the work restriction provision for Croatian nationals is set for 2018.

    Switzerland, which is not an EU member, will continue to subject Croatian nationals to work permit quotas separate from those for third-country nationals.

    Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Slovakia will continue to allow Croatian nationals free access to the labor market, as these countries never applied restrictions to Croatian nationals after Croatia joined the European Union. Local residency registration rules may apply.

    All other EU countries will maintain work permit restrictions for Croatian nationals, and local residence permit laws may apply as well.


    When Croatia joined the European Union on July 1, 2013, EU member countries could elect to maintain work permit restrictions for Croatian nationals until June 30, 2020. Member countries have the option to renew restrictions at three deadlines during that time (2015, 2018 and 2020), if lifting them would adversely affect the domestic labor market.

    What This Means for Foreign Nationals

    Croatian nationals should benefit from the lifting of work permit restrictions in certain EU countries, however they should check with their immigration professional regarding any residence permit regulations that may still apply.