Nationals from Croatia still need a work permit

Posted on 10th January, 2015

Estimated reading time 2 minutes

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).

Further Information

Should you require advice on obtaining the required work permit, please contact Wendy Terporten on +31 10 224 64 34, Loyens & Loeff


Content is for general information purposes only. The information provided is not intended to be comprehensive and it does not constitute or contain legal or other advice. If you require assistance in relation to any issue please seek specific advice relevant to your particular circumstances. In particular, no responsibility shall be accepted by the authors or by Abbiss Cadres LLP for any losses occasioned by reliance on any content appearing on or accessible from this article. For further legal information click here.

Circular 230 disclosure

To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS and other taxing authorities, we inform you that any tax advice contained in this article (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.