Employing Croatians

Care has to be given by employers considering employing Croatian nationals. Although Croatia joined the European Union on 1 July 2013, Croatian nationals do not have the same rights to work in the UK that nationals of all other European countries have.


The rules around employing Croatians are technical and on first glance may appear complicated. Generally speaking, most Croatian nationals can only take up employment in the UK once they hold a worker authorisation registration certificate issued by the Home Office. Most Croatians will need their employer to assist them in obtaining this and this means that employers will first have to register with the Home Office and obtain a sponsorship licence.

There are, however, many Croatian nationals who are exempt from the requirements to register and who will be able to lawfully take up employment without the need for their employer to register with the Home Office. People in this category will usually already have a blue-coloured document issued by the Home Office. To employ holders of a blue certificate, employers need not do anything other than take a copy of this document and retain it on file.

Any Croatian who holds either a purple or yellow document cannot be employed until the employer takes some form of action with the Home Office. Any Croatian who has worked legally and continuously in the UK for 12 months prior to the 30 June 2013 no longer needs a certificate to work and is able to be employed without restriction or further authorisation from the Home Office.