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EU migration policies are ‘mad’ says Lord Digby Jones | Immigration Matters

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Former trade minister Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham has entered the European immigration controversy in an outspoken speach. Lthough he is a businessman and not a party politician, his thoughts will certainly heat up the debate.

Basic English skills

Speaking in Leicester, he said it was “mad” to allow so many EU citizens to seek work in Britain when they couldn’t speak basic English.

“I can’t see why if I find a computer expert in Auckland, New Zealand or a video games expert from Vancouver, they cannot come to my country, build a career, bring their families and pay tax. They speak English. But what’s now being said is ‘No they can’t’,” he told business leaders.

“But if you come from Latvia or Slovenia, and you don’t speak English and you’ve no intention of integrating, then it’s ‘Come on in, pal. You’re in the European Union. You can do it.’… We must be mad,” he added.

“We should be saying, there’s nothing wrong with immigration to this nation. Regardless of the colour of your skin or regardless of your religion, you are welcome. But you will speak English and you will have a job and a skill,” he said.

Immigration numbers

His comments to members of the Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce last night follow the Prime Minister’s speech this week on immigration. David Cameron said net immigration needed to be cut down to “tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands”.

Lord Jones is a former Director General of the Confederation of British Industry and was appointed by Gordon Brown as a trade ambassador in the Department for Business in 2007.

He told business leaders in Leicester: “Do you know that more Indians died on D-Day than Frenchmen? Jamaicans, Canadians, Australians died in their thousands so we could be free. And now we say you’re not welcome.

“But if you are from anywhere in the European Union, we just say ‘come on in’. I say they are welcome but only if they speak English, want to integrate and work hard. Because that’s what my nation stands for.

“We have a manufacturing industry that is doing brilliantly. Last year we sold more motor cars from this country than at any time in the history of this country. So we want and need the best of skilled workers from around the world.”

Lord Jones is highly critical of the media, saying it is not interested in the positive news of business success. He might find some media interest in his latest comments. Source: BBC

From a purely business perspective, employers who are unable to hire locally based staff, or non EU migrants on Tier 2 work permits, are increasingly turning to Eastern European workers to fill vacancies. But care needs to be taken to avoid a fine for employing staff without the correct documentation, as not all European workers have the same rights to work in the UK.

But many employers are unaware of the distinct difference between ‘A8’ nationals (Polish, Latvian, Slovakian, Czechs, Hungarians, Slovenians Lithuanians and Estonians), who joined the EU in 2004 and more recent members from Bulgaria and Romania. Although both groups have the same rights to freely enter the UK, they do not enjoy the same rights to work, or free movement of labour. See Free Movement of EU nationals explained.

Despite the fact that they are EU members, when it comes to employment Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not have the same rights as other Europeans and other A8 Accession countries.

There is an estimated half a million Romanians alone in the UK, many of whom are working as self employed contractors, which is allowed, whilst others study and work on a yellow coloured registration certificate commonly known as ‘Yellow Card’.

After 12 months of continuous legal work they can apply for residence under a so called ‘Blue Card’ registration.

Working in the UK as a genuine self employed contractor for certain industries, such as IT or the building trade, is fine. But the majority of employers are unwilling to deal with the practicalities of having self employed staff, for instance waiters, chefs or carers, presenting invoices every week.

Finding legitimate employment as a self employed person is proving increasingly difficult for the half a million plus Romanian and Bulgarian citizens already in the UK.

There is also the issue of obtaining a National Insurance (NI) number, which by itself does not infer entitlement to work, as a self employed person.

One self employed Romanian lady told Immigration Matters that she had been refused an NI number five times despite providing all the necessary paperwork to the Glasgow based office.

Study route to Yellow and Blue Cards

Romanian and Bulgarians who study vocational or sandwich-type courses, such as QCF (which replaced NVQ’s this year) in Customer Service, IT, Catering, Hospitality, Construction or Health and Social Care, are allowed to work full time, as stated on the back of their Yellow Cards.

Employers can employ Romanian and Bulgarian workers provided they obtain a yellow card registration certificate allowing them to work in the UK whilst studying for a British qualification.

Provided they stick to the course and work legally for 12 months in line with their course, they will usually be granted a residence ‘Blue Card’ permit.

Some students, perhaps unwilling or unable to pay the fees, drop out of the course as they believe that having obtained a Yellow Card and NI Number they can continue working without further checks.

The Romanian/Bulgarian students and their employers may find themselves in breach of the immigration rules and may therefore lose their eligibility for residence or Blue Card.

As employers can be fined up to £10,000 for each illegal worker they employ, they are now looking deeper into their staff files. 

Employers also have the option of applying for a work permit for a Romanian or Bulgarian worker, outside of Tier 2 Rules, provided the job meets the requirements.

TIP – HOW TO FIND APPLICATION FORMS FOR A YELLOW OR BLUE CARD REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE

If you are looking for a particular form or guidance note, try using the UKBA search facility or Google to locate it, rather than work your way through the maze of pages.

For instance, many people ask: ‘where can I find the form to apply for a Yellow Card?’

The form you are looking for is a ‘BR1’, but it is not called a ‘yellow card application’. In fact a search on the UKBA website for ‘yellow card’ will only give you a ‘No Results found for the Search term ‘yellow card’ reply. So you need to search using the correct name or a more defined search.

The full title of the BR1 form is:

‘APPLICATION FOR A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE FOR A BULGARIAN OR ROMANIAN NATIONAL EXERCISING A TREATY RIGHT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM’

You can locate the Forms BR1, BR2, BR3, BR4, BR5, BR6, BR7 and ‘Guidance for Nationals of Bulgaria and Romania on Obtaining Permission to Work in the United Kingdom‘ at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/workingintheuk/eea/bulgariaromania/applying/

However, if you are reading this article in six months time it may not be at the same location or the Rules may have changed and the BR1 -7 forms may no longer be needed at all!

If you need help or advice there is also a UKBA telephone number given for the ‘Accession State customer contact centre’ which is: 0114 207 4074.

You can also seek advice from an Immigration Adviser, but make sure they are registered with the OISC, which provides a list of qualified advisers all over the UK. 

See article:

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website

STILL CONFUSED? Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.

For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email info@majesticcollege.org

See article:

 

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

See also:

7 tips for completing a Yellow Card BR1 application to work and study in the UK

HOW TO FIND APPLICATION FORMS FOR A ‘YELLOW’ OR ‘BLUE’ CARD REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE ON THE UK BORDER AGENCY WEBSITE

Employers ‘addicted’ to migrant workers says UK Immigration Minister

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:  

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk 

STILL CONFUSED? Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.

For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email info@majesticcollege.org

 

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