Residence and work permit for the new members of the European Union: Croatian citizens

Residence and work permit for the new members of the European Union: Croatian citizens

The General Secretariat of Immigration and Emigration (Secretaría General de Inmigración y Emigración, SGIE) has settled the legal dispositions applicable to Croatian nationals who wish to live and work in Spain. The Spanish Government, in accordance with the current EU legislation, has limited the right of full freedom of movement, residence and work for Croatian citizens for the next two years which is defined as a transitory period. This limitation has been imposed by the SGIE/4/2013 regarding the legal regime applicable for employed Croatian nationals and their families, from July 1.

The details related to the limitations as well as the content of the SGIE/4/2013 instruction are still unknown for the majority of people, therefore it is extremely advisable to count with the help and guidance of an immigration attorney. Our Law Firm has the necessary expertise and experience to guide you through a successful residence and work permit application according to your needs and profile while this transitory period is in force.

The fundamental aspects of this legislation are the following:

1- A 2 year transitory period is established from the 1st of July, 2013 to the 1st of July, 2015, in which the Croatian citizens will not have the right to have their status recognized as nationals of an EU member state. 2- This 2 year transitory period may be extended for 3 more years, reaching the maximum of 5 years established by the EU. 3- During this transitional period, Croatian nationals may carry any professional activity for an employee as any other citizen of an EU member state prior to the issue of the corresponding Work Permit pursuant to Article 38 of the Organic Law 4/2000.* 4- Croatian citizens who are willing to reside in Spain for a period exceeding 3 months as nationals of an EU member state must be registered at the National Registry of Foreigners. 5- Croatian workers who want to exercise self-employment might be able to do so without any limitation.

*Since July 2013, those nationals of Croatia who have had a valid residence and work permit for a period equal or superior to one year will be granted all the legal rights of an EU citizen and shall not be limited by the above restrictions. Also, those nationals of Croatia hired by a Spanish employer after the aforesaid date and who successfully complete 12 consecutive months of work shall be granted as well all the legal rights related to employment as any other Spanish national or EU citizen.

As for the family, the Law foresees the right to work only for the spouse and children younger than 21 years old or older than 21 years old who depend on the applicant. Such right to work will be extended to these family members provided that:

  • They have been legally residing in Spain with the Croatian worker by the time that such legislation has entered in force on July 1, 2013.
  • They reside with the Croatian worker after the date of entry in force of the legislation, July 1, 2013, for a period of at least 18 consecutive months, or from the third year following the date of union of Croatia to the European Union.
  • Contact our Law Firm and request our services and we will carefully analyze and discuss your case with one of our Immigration Attorneys in order to avoid delays or refusal of visas or permits for you or your family members.

    Please remember that all supporting documentation issued by a Foreign Authority must be duly legalized and translated into Spanish by a certified public interpreter.

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