IOM Regional Information Campaign in Bulgaria and Romania
Bulgaria "Clarifying the Myths and Realities of Immigrating to the United Kingdom"
General information about
the United Kingdom:
|Living in UK|
|Tax and Insurance|
WORK IN UK
RIGHTS OF MOVEMENT FOR BULGARIAN AND ROMANIAN NATIONALS POST ACCESSION
Advice offered in this guidance is of a general nature and subject to change; you should check http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk on a regular basis to obtain the latest information
• In October 2006, the Government announced that it would provide workers from Bulgaria and Romania with gradual access to the United Kingdom’s labour market post-Accession. In order to do so, the Government has passed secondary legislation that places restrictions on nationals of those countries’ access to the labour market. The UK labour market will be opened gradually to citizens of Bulgaria and Romania who have the skills we need.
Since 1st January 2007, as European Economic Area (EEA)
nationals, Bulgarians and Romanians have been able to move and
reside freely in any Member State. They do not require leave to
enter or remain to reside legally in the UK.
The accession regulations were approved in Parliament on 7th December 2006. Further information on how to make an application is now on the Home Office website. This includes the application forms and guidance.
WORKER AUTHORISATION SCHEME
• We will require that workers from Bulgaria and Romania must, exempt where they are exempt from the requirement, obtain an accession worker card before they commence employment in the United Kingdom.
• Those qualifying for such a document will generally be those skilled workers who meet the criteria for the issue of a work permit under the existing work permit arrangements.
• However, accession worker cards will also be issued to lower skilled workers coming to undertake approved seasonal agricultural work and employment in the food processing sector. Existing schemes for lower skilled work in these sectors will move to being restricted to workers from Bulgaria and Romania.
Accession Worker Cards
1. Workers not exempt from the requirement to seek permission to work will need to hold an accession worker card or a Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme work card in order to be legally employed in the United Kingdom. An accession worker card will be issued in respect of a specific job with a specific employer, provided that relevant qualifying criteria are met. Employment cannot commence prior to the accession worker card being issued. If the holder of an accession worker card wishes to change employment, they will need to obtain a new accession worker card for that employment.
2. There are certain categories of employment for which non-EEA nationals are not currently required to obtain a work permit (for example, sole representatives of overseas businesses, au pairs, employees of overseas governments and ministers of religion). It will be possible for nationals of Bulgaria and Romania to apply for an accession worker card for these categories of employment where they meet the existing criteria for approval of such employment.
Accession worker cards will also be issued for:
EU Rights as a worker – Registration Certificates
Persons working for twelve months or more lawfully can obtain
a registration certificate confirming unrestricted right to access
UK labour market.
Working without permission
It will be an offence for an employer to employ a Bulgarian or
Romanian national who is subject to the requirement to hold an
accession worker card but does not have one, or who is undertaking
work other than that specified in the document. Employers will face
a maximum fine upon conviction of £5,000 per worker.
AGRICULTURAL WORKERS SCHEME (SAWS)
Who are the SAWS operators?
The scheme allows a single person between 17 and 27
to come to the United Kingdom to study English. You can live for up
to 2 years as a member of an English-speaking family. You help in
the home for up to five hours a day.
HIGHLY SKILLED MIGRANT PROGRAMME
TThe programme is designed to allow highly skilled people to migrate
to the UK to look for work or self-employment opportunities. The
Highly Skilled Migrant Programme is different from the work permit
arrangements because you do not need a specific job offer in the UK,
or a detailed business plan to apply. To be recognized as highly
skilled migrant, the Bulgarian national should apply to the
Bulgarian and Romanian Casework Team (as above) in Sheffield. The
Highly Skilled Migrant Programme uses a standard point-scoring
system, with 75 points required for success in the scoring area. The
Bulgarian nationals, who qualify for the programme, will be issued a
registration certificate, proving their status of highly skilled
migrants and granting them full access to the UK labour market.
SELF EMPLOYED PERSONS
As citizens of the EU, Bulgarian nationals can exercise a Treaty
right as self-employed persons in any EU member state. The status of
self-employed will depend on the circumstances and character of your
economic activity. Broadly, you are considered a self-employed
person if you are in business on your own account and bear
responsibility for the success or failure of that business. If you
can answer “Yes” to all of the following questions, it will usually
mean that you are self-employed:
As EU citizens
Bulgarian nationals are entitled to exercise Treaty rights as
students in any EU member state, as long as they have sufficient
funds to pay for the course of study and living expenses while they
reside in the UK. In addition, the place of study must be a
recognised place of education on the Department of Education and
Skills approved list. The chosen course of study must lead to a
recognised qualification. A list of the recognised educational
establishments in the UK can be obtained at the following website:
This category includes workers, such as ministers of religion and sole representatives of an overseas company, which arrive in the UK to establish a branch of the respective company. They must apply to the Romania and Bulgaria Casework Team (as above) in Sheffield.
FULL ACCESS TO LABOUR MARKET IN THE UK
As part of the gradual opening of the UK labour market a few
individuals will be able to seek unrestricted access to UK labour
market. Qualifying criteria are strict and are based on skills or
relationship to UK nationals/settled persons. Anybody who has been
legally employed in the UK on a continuous basis for twelve months
obtains community rights as a worker. They are entitled to receiving
a registration certificate, granting them full access to the UK