Switzerland – Extension of Transitional Period for Croatian Nationals

What has changed

From January 1, 2017, the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (AFMP) gradually allowed Croatian citizens entry into the Swiss workforce through transitional measures enacted under the ratification of Protocol III. The transitional measures included restricted access to the Swiss labour market, priority to the local workforce, and check of work conditions and quotas. Swiss authorities initially planned for the transitional measures to apply until December 31, 2018.

On December 7, 2018, the Swiss Federal Council announced that the transitional measures applicable to Croatian nationals coming to work in Switzerland will be extended until December 31, 2021. The extension of the transitional period will take effect on January 1, 2019.

Who is affected

All companies who sponsor Croatian employees in Switzerland or are planning to send Croatian employees to Switzerland in the future.

What to expect

Before a Croatian national may begin work, the employer must first secure a decision from the relevant cantonal labour authorities.

Clients should conduct a Swiss labour market check before offering a position to any Croatian national, provided that the job is not an Intra-Company Transfer.

Emigra Worldwide strongly advises clients to submit permit applications for Croatian citizens far in advance, in order to secure the work authorization in time for the employment start date.

What you need to do

Clients with Croatian citizens in Switzerland should notify impacted employees about the changes and contact Emigra Worldwide for any support they may need.