May 8, 2011

Effective May 1, 2011, certain member countries of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) announced elimination of  traditional work permit requirements for nationals of the Accession 8 (“A8”) EU countries.

What’s Changed? 

As of May 1, 2011  the EU countries of Austria, Germany and UK removed work permit requirements for the following A8 nationals: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

EFTA-member country Switzerland has removed most traditional work permit restrictions for A8 nationals who are localized to Swiss payroll.

What To Be Aware Of? 

The countries of Bulgaria and Hungary were admitted to the EU/EEA in 2007 and are referred to as “A2” countries. A2 nationals are the only remaining EU/EEA nationals who are under continued Accession-country work permit restrictions in certain other EU/EEA/EFTA countries (e.g., Austria, France, Iceland, Ireland, etc.).

Readers are advised that while virtually all EU/EEA/EFTA countries have removed work permit restrictions, most do require some form of residence registration for stays exceeding 90 days.

Due to their small geographic size and domestic labor market, EFTA-member countries of Liechtenstein and Switzerland have retained rights to limit work permits for all foreign nationals until 2014, when all labor market restrictions are to be removed within the EU. 


It is recommended that clients consult with Pro-Link GLOBAL to confirm specific destination country requirements for long stay intra-regional assignments by EU/EEA/EFTA nationals. 

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader 

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.  Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM correspondent offices to provide this GLOBAL Brief to you.