Employers in the Netherlands who are hiring nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland do not need to possess a work permit for these employees due to the free movement workers enjoy between countries within the European Union (as contained in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). However, although Croatia became part of the EU on 1 July 2013, employers must still apply for a work permit if they want to let a national of Croatia work for them in the Netherlands.
Why is this?
Transitional arrangements have been put in place to enable EU Member States to gradually introduce free movement for workers in such situations (see here for Member States and restrictions). The Dutch government can postpone the free access of Croatian nationals to the Dutch labour market until 1 July 2020 at the latest and has decided to do so until at least 1 July 2018.
What does this mean?
Employers who wish to employ new employees with Croatian nationality need to apply for work permits until the restrictions no longer apply. As an exception to the above, if you currently employ Croatian nationals who have been working in the Netherlands with a valid work permit for at least 12 months, they will not need a work permit.
For more information, please click here (Dutch only).
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