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How does freedom of movement in the EU affect you?

The free movement of workers applies to the countries within the European Union and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, who are in the European Economic Area.

What does it mean to EU nationals?

Free movement of workers within the European Union allows EU citizens to:

  • seek employment in another EU country   
  • work in another EU country without a permit
  • stay there even when the employment has ended
  • have the same access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages as the citizens of that particular country.

Are there any restrictions?

There are a few things to bear in mind. You, or a family member, have to be moving for work purposes; EU countries are allowed to keep certain public-sector positions for their own nationals, which won’t be available to those coming from another country; and currently, there are further restrictions for Croatian nationals, although these will be temporary.

What if you aren’t an EU citizen?

There are non-EU countries which have special agreements allowing their citizens to legally work in European states, For example, as a result of the EU-Switzerland agreement, Swiss nationals are free to live and work in the EU, with some restrictions for working in Croatia.

Some other countries that have working arrangements with the EU include Turkey, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Russia. This means that legal workers from these countries are entitled to the same working conditions as the nationals of their host country.

If you come from a country without such agreement, whether you gain access to work in the EU will depend on the individual country.  In Belgium, you should contact the Belgian Immigration Office to establish what arrangements, if any, stand. It may be useful to note, however, that when an EU national is working in another EU country, their family members are able to live and work in the country, wherever they are from.

(image © Geralt)

 

RB

Categories:   Administration

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