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FRANCE: Transitional Measures for Croatians Following Croatia's Entry Into the European Union

Croatia entered the European Union on July 1, 2013, and became the 28th member. In this context, France has decided to implement the first phase of the transitional period (July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2015) to limit access to the labor market by Croatian nationals.

Maintenance of National Measures for Croatian Employees

During the transitional period, Croatian employees wishing to work in France must first obtain a work permit. However, the issuance of work permits is not subject to labor market tests for jobs on the list of 291 occupations determined by the ministerial decree of October 1, 2012. For access to non-listed occupations, France applies all the criteria of Article R.5221-20 of the Labour Code in processing applications for work permits (i.e., labor market tests). The residence permit marked "EU - all professional activities" for a period equal to that of the activity is issued for any labor contract of more than three months and less than one year. The holder is exempt from the reception and integration contract (CAI). The residence permit marked "EU - all professional activities" for a period of five years is issued for any labor contract exceeding one year. Croatian nationals in France who received a degree equivalent to a master's degree are not subject to residence and work permit requirements.

Freedom of Establishment and Freedom To Provide Services

Freedom of establishment is available to self-employed Croatian workers (commercial, industrial, trade, and professional occupations) from the date of accession. Self-employed Croatian nationals receive an EU residence permit, entitled "all occupations except employment," valid up to five years.

In addition, Croatian companies benefiting from the freedom to provide services may do so through their Croatian employees (including non-EU nationals). Such Croatian employees are not subject to prior work permits but still must hold a residence permit during the transitional period. The residence permit, valid for a maximum stay of three years, will be marked "employee of a service provider."

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