Who is allowed to work in the EU?

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.

Other countries that have an agreement with the EU:

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.


• Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia • Russia • Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro; • Andorra, San Marino • 79 countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.

Countries with no agreement:

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.


• non-EU nationals who are long-term residents in the EU • the right to family reunification • admission for non-EU researchers • admission for students, exchange pupils, unpaid training or voluntary service • the rights of highly-skilled workers from outside the EU (EU blue card scheme)

The information and views set out in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union or the Ministry of Interior. Neither the European Union or the Ministry of Interior institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.