On July 1st, Croatia joined the European Union – an important occasion in the history of both. Everaert Lawyers would like to congratulate Croatia and our Croatian partners on this milestone!

For Croatians in the Netherlands and for their Dutch employers or commissioning companies, there is a lot of improvement from a legal point of view. According to the Aliens Act, Croatians have become citizens of the European Union. One of the practical advantages is that Croatian nationals and their family members are not required to take the Dutch integration exam anymore. Also, Croatians, as EU citizens, can obtain a residence permit in the Netherlands much easier.

Dutch employers of Croatian workers need to pay attention. The Dutch Government has imposed a transitional period of delay in the free movement of workers:

For a period of at least two years, Dutch employers are required to apply for a work permit (TWV) with the Labor authorities (UWV) if they wish to employ Croatian workers in the Netherlands. There are many exceptions to this rule. For instance, Croatian employees who have been in the possession of a work permit for one year will subsequently be free to take up employment in the Netherlands without a work permit. Family members may also be eligible for this status. Lastly, complicated rules apply for one-person businesses without employees and for Croatian companies wanting to do business in the Netherlands.

Are you a Croatian national, or do you work with Croatian employees? You are then advised to inform yourself thoroughly on how to arrange your residency or your business activities in the Netherlands in such a way that you are not risking a high penalty by the Dutch Labor inspection. We highly recommend to obtain good advice beforehand, to avoid unnecessary difficulties afterwards.

For more information, please consult our specialist on this matter, Erik Scheers.

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