January 23, 2012

As of January 1, 2012, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and Malta have announced a conditional relaxation of work permit restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians for certain occupations. Conditions for easing restrictions will be based on each country’s domestic labor market situation, with each country reserving the right to impose restrictions through December 31, 2013.

Of all the abovementioned countries, only Italy has decided to fully liberalize its labor market for citizens of the EU’s two newest member countries.

On January 1st, 2007, when Bulgaria and Romania became EU members, established member countries were allowed to keep work permit restrictions in place for both countries for an initial period of five years. Established member countries could request a final two-year extension of those transitional arrangements, but only if they experienced serious labor market disturbances and if it was objectively justified.

Currently, Bulgarians and Romanians have full labor rights in Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.