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BEFORE YOU START LOOKING FOR WORK IN THE UE…

When you are looking for work abroad, your first step may be to stay within the European Union. Why? Mainly, because one of the benefits of being European or living within the Union is that you have Free Movement as an EU national.

Therefore, you are entitled to:

  • look for a job in another EU country  
  • work there without needing a work permit
  • reside there for that purpose
  • stay there even after employment has finished
  • enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages

But there’s more. When you travel from one EU country to another, you may also have certain types of health & social security coverage transferred to the country in which they go to seek work. You should seek information and guidance from YOUR Social Security office before you depart, so they will tell you what agreements there are with the country you are visiting and what you will be entitled to over there.

Free movement of workers also applies, in general terms, to the countries in the European Economic Area: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. They are not in the UE, but they have an agreement with it, so you will be equally treated there as if you went to one country within the Union.

It’s important that wherever you go, you look at your qualification and check what the recognision of those titles is over in the other country. You may seek help by contacting your Enic-Naric centre. http://www.enic-naric.net/

EU social security coordination provides rules to protect the rights of people moving within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Here, on top of the three countries, we also add Switzerland.

Who can benefit from this freedom?

  • Jobseekers, i.e. EU nationals who move to another EU country to look for a job, under certain conditions
  • EU nationals working in another EU country
  • EU nationals who return to their country of origin after having worked abroad.
  • Family members of the above.

Rights may differ somewhat for people who plan to be self-employed, students, and retired or otherwise economically non-active people. For more information on these groups, see Your Europe.

What restrictions are there?

  • The rights described on this site apply to people who exercise their right to free movement for work purposes.
  • There are limitations based on considerations of public security, public policy, public health grounds and employment in the public sector.
  • Nationals of Croatia may face temporary restrictions.

As you can see, it’s not just getting the plane ticket, packing your suitcase and depart without any fixed idea. That’s ok for a holiday, but if you are planning on going to work, then, you should really get some information and try to make your life slightly easier.

There are many things you should look into prior to your departure. Check the European Commission link, with more information than the one I include in this post and I do hope you will find many answers there.

(Source: European Commission (http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=457)

Athour: José Ángel Esteban López

 

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