The freedom to move to another EU country to work without a work permit is a right for EU nationals.
Non-EU nationals may have the right to work in an EU country or to be treated equally with EU nationals as regards conditions of work. These rights depend on their status as family members of EU nationals and on their own nationality.
Although these countries are not members of the EU, their nationals can work in the EU on the same footing as EU nationals, since they belong to the European Economic Area.
Workers from some EU countries may face temporary restrictions on working in Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway. Currently these are: Bulgaria and Romania.
Under the EU-Switzerland agreement on the free movement of persons, Swiss nationals are free to live and work in the EU, with some restrictions for working in Croatia.
Most EU citizens do not need a permit to work in Switzerland. Restrictions only apply to nationals of Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania – who need a work permit. Find out more on working in Switzerland as an EU citizen.
The right of Turkish nationals to move to an EU country to work depends entirely on the laws of that country.
Turkish workers who are legally employed in an EU country and who are duly registered as belonging to the labour force there have the following rights:
Turkish nationals working legally in an EU country are also entitled to the same working conditions as the nationals of that country.
Nationals of these countries, who are working legally in the European Union, are entitled to the same working conditions as the nationals of their host country:
For nationals of other countries – that have no agreement with the EU – the right to work in an EU country mainly depends on the laws of that country, unless they are members of an EU national's family.
However, EU rules do cover the following areas for workers from all non‑EU countries:
New EU rules have been proposed on: