NETHERLANDS: Croatian Worker Restrictions Lifted from 1 July 2018

June 12, 2018

The Dutch government decided on 8th June 2018 to lift the current work authorisation requirements for Croatian workers from 1st July 2018. From that date, Croatian nationals will have the same access to the Dutch labour market as nationals of other EU Member States.


When Croatia joined the EU in 2013, the Netherlands was one of the Member States which activated its right to place restrictions on labour market access for Croatian nationals for up to five years, with the option to extend for a final two years if there was clear evidence that removing the controls would lead to a ‘serious labour market disturbance’.

The restrictions meant that Croatian nationals coming to work in the Netherlands have needed to obtain a work permit for a year, after which they can work without further work authorisation in the Netherlands.

Most EU Member States have now dropped these restrictions.  In February 2018, Malta announced that it had cancelled labour market restrictions for Croatian nationals with immediate effect. In March 2018, the United Kingdom announced that it will lift its restrictions on Croatian workers from 1st July 2018.

However, also in March 2018, Slovenia and Austria both announced that they intend to extend their restrictions on Croatian national workers for another two years.

Our Advice

Dutch employers and Croatian nationals seeking work in the Netherlands should contact their Newland Chase immigration specialist if they are in any doubt how the changes might affect them after 1st July 2018.

For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to the Netherlands in general, please email us at [email protected]