For non-EU nationals wishing to work in the European Union
During 2007 and 2008, the European Union has proposed and begun development of a work permit scheme that would allow citizens from outside of the EU to enter the EU for skilled work. Currently, the possibility of this scheme being approved seems good, but estimates are that it will not be available until at least 2011.
We maintain a section of our website for European Immigration News in which updates to the Europen Union Blue Card will appear when more information becomes available.
Until such a scheme is passed, people from outside of the Euopean Union and the EEA will need to persue more traditional, exisiting immigration routes.
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For EU nationals wishing to work in other EU countries
If you are a national of an EU member state that was a part of the EU before May 1, 2004 (these are: Luxemburg, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, France, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Iceland) you should normally be allowed to live and work in any other of these countries. You will need a valid identity card or passport.
Within the first year of joining, the Eastern European EU member states that joined in 2004 (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary) had unrestricted rights to live and work only in Sweden, the UK and Ireland. The remaining old EU countries kept most or all restrictions in place that prevented new EU member state workers from easily working there. Since this time, many restrictions have been lifted. Under the terms of the EU treaty, all restrictions must be lifted for a new member state no more than seven years after it joins the EU.
There were no restrictions on workers from the other two EU member states (Cyprus and Malta) that joined in 2004.
When Romania and Bulgaria joined on 01 January 2007 (forming the current EU 27), restrictions were kept in place in most countries, including the UK and Ireland, but were eased or unlimited in some others.
EU nationals from old member states wishing to work in new EU member states will have to check with each country regarding their ability to work there. Some new Member States have chosen to impose equivalent restrictions on the nationals of Member States that have themselves imposed restrictions.
The rest of this guide pertains only to workers from EU countries who have the right to work and live freely in other EU countries!