Croatian citizens will be allowed to work in Switzerland from 1 January 2022, under the same rights as other EU/EFTA citizens.
The decision was revealed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration at the 24th meeting of the Swiss-EU Joint Committee on the Convention on the Freedom of Movement of Persons.
During the meeting, which was held via video conference due to the pandemic, the Swiss side revealed that it had decided to cancel market protection measures for Croatian citizens. The decision was made based on an assessment that there is no significant imbalance in the labor market in both countries.
This means that Croatian employees are treated with equal rights as EU/EFTA citizens. The Swiss delegation formally informed the European Union of this decision in the Joint Commission”, notes the State Secretariat for Migration.
The same also indicates that by December 31 last year, Croatian citizens in Switzerland represented 1.9 percent of the total EU/EFTA citizens in the country.
A statement from the secretariat revealed that “As of December 31, 2020, there were 28,324 Croatian citizens in Switzerland (+ six people compared to 2019).”
Previously, under a law approved by the Swiss authorities, Croats were allowed to work in Switzerland while they were subject to transitional provisions. This means that there were specific quotas for Croats wishing to live and work in Switzerland.
Switzerland-based companies interested in hiring a Croatian had to apply for a work permit and show that previous search efforts in Switzerland to fill the position had been unsuccessful. These rules have been in effect since the beginning of January 2017.
When Croatia became a member of the European Union in 2013, the accession agreement gave member states the possibility to use a seven-year transition period before allowing workers from Croatia to work on their territory under the same rights as the rest of the EU. A similar transition period was applied to Romania and Bulgaria when they joined the European Union.
Initially, 13 countries imposed transitional period restrictions on Croats, namely Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Since then, the majority of these countries have put an end to restrictions on Croatian workers in their territories, including the Netherlands, which did so on 1 July 2018.
According to Work in the UK, Croatians who want to do so since December 31, 2020, have to apply for work permits and visas because the UK is no longer part of the European Union.