Croatia joins the European Union from 1 July 2013

21 October 2013
Croatia joins the European Union from 1 July 2013

On 1 July 2013, Croatia joins the European Union, giving Croatians the right to live and work in any EU member state.

Under transitional arrangements, the UK has additional measures which must be satisfied for Croatians to have the right to work in the UK.

Either the Croatian national must have:

  • a passport or travel document endorsed before 1 July 2013 showing a valid leave to remain in the UK;
  • or a worker authorisation registration certificate.


To obtain a worker authorisation registration certificate, employers will need to:

  • be a licensed sponsor under the relevant tier of the points-based system
  • issue a Certificate of Sponsorship to the Croatian national so the individual can use this certificate to support their application for work authorisation.


The UKBA has guidance for employers available here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsarticles/2013/june/92-croatia

In light of the changes, employers may need to:

  • update their policies and guidance which outline the documentation which evidence the right to work in the UK
  • ensure that checks/copies of this documentation are always taken before an individual commences employment in order to provide a legal excuse and avoid penalties up to 5,000 for each illegal worker identified.


For further information, see the right to work section of HRBird.

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