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European Union Nationals - Free Movement of Workers

The Free Movement of Workers is a principle in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.Romania - © Jeremy North

It entitles citizens of the European Union to:

  • Seek employment in another EU country
  • Work (with no need for a work permit) in another EU country
  • Live in that country and remain in that country after employment has ended
  • Be treated as equal to nationals of that country in respect to employment, tax and social benefits and working conditions
  • Have particular types of health & social security coverage transferred to the country in which they go to seek work (see coordination of social security systems).

The "Free Movement of Workers" is also generally applicable to countries in the European Economic Area: Switzerland, Iceland, Norway & Liechtenstein are members of the European Free Trade Association and are all members of the The Free Movement Of Workers agreement.

Some occupations allow for professional qualifications to be recognised in other EU countries. (see mutual recognition of professional qualifications).

Rules are in place to protect rights of all people moving within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (see EU social security coordination)

Restrictions and rights vary for EU nationals who are economically non-active, retired, students or self-employed. (see Your Europe). There are also restrictions for those seeking employment in the public sector.

Temporary restrictions are in place for nationals of Croatia.

Before you take off

Please contact us if you believe information on this page is incorrect, misleading or offensive, or if something important is missing.

The International Wanderer aims to provide you with up to date and accurate information. However, content is submitted by writers/wanderers from all over the globe. Sometimes we will get it wrong. Furthermore, working holiday and other visa opportunities and requirements (or numbers allocated) may change. New working holiday agreements are constantly being negotiated between countries. We suggest that you contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country you wish to visit to ensure you have the most recent and accurate information. For further information about this website see our Terms & Conditions.