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Illegal worker arrested in UKBA raid, but employers still confused by rules for Bulgarian and Romanian workers | Immigration Matters

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As raids on businesses employing illegal workers continue throughout the UK, employers are still flouting the rules on EU workers from Bulgaria and Romania.

In a typical raid scenario, a restaurant in Worcester is facing a fine of £10,000 after an illegal worker was arrested during a UK Border Agency raid. Officers acting on intelligence visited the Angel Chef on Angel Street earlier this month, the Worcester Standard reports.

As officers entered the restaurant, one of the workers tried to run off but he was caught.

He was identified as a Malaysian national who had overstayed his visa. More than £8,000 in cash was also found on the 37-year-old, which officers detained under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

He was arrested and taken to Worcester Police Station for further questioning before being transferred to an immigration detention centre. Action is now being taken to remove him from the UK.

The company was issued with an on-the-spot penalty notice for employing an illegal worker and may now face a fine of up to £10,000. To avoid this, the business must prove to the UK Border Agency that it carried out the correct right-to-work checks on its staff.

Paula Burton, from the UK Border Agency’s West Mercia team, said:

“Any business that takes on a foreign national without permission to work is breaking the law and faces a heavy fine as well as the prospect of a prison sentence.” Source: Worcester Standard.

A recent estimate by the London School of Economics  – said there are between 417,000 to 863,000 “irregular migrants” in the UK.

The think tank ippr calculated that it would take 20 years to remove 500,000 illegal immigrants from the UK at a cost of £5 billion. 

Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not have the same rights as other Europeans

The above case involved a non-EU worker where the right to work is pretty clear cut. However, where the worker is from the European Union things are not so straightforward.

There is much confusion surrounding the whole area of EU members from Bulgaria and Romania and their rights to come here to work.

Migrants, employers and even advisers at Job Centres and help lines are not always clear about whether or not Bulgarian and Romanian nationals can work in the UK and what documents are required.

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, for instance from Poland, Slovakia or other A8 Accession countries.

Many care industry and catering businesses would like to recruit willing and able Romanian, Bulgarian and other European workers.

But many employers are unaware of the 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.

Bulgarians and Romanians tend to work on a ‘self employed’ basis, with or without a yellow card/BR1 Registration document.

Recently it has become more difficult to obtain a yellow card for a self employed person probably because this route has been abused.  

A self employed yellow card is meant for those who are genuinely running a business providing services or goods, not working as a waiter or chef in a restaurant. 

Employers cannot ‘employ’ a chef, waiter or care worker on a self employed basis (whether or not they are Romanian/British or European) when that person is clearly a full time employee.

Apart from the immigration rules there are basic tax implications when ’employing’ a self employed person, as well as the sticky question of who is going to pay the income tax for thousands of transient Eastern European workers.  

For these reasons many Bulgarians and Romanians are switching to the study route to obtain a Yellow Card because they will learn a useful skill in the UK and find it relatively simple to find a work placement as part of their course. 

Romanian Sudent gets Yellow Card

Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 yellow card registration as students who wish to work are being forced to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance – a form of private medical cover – even though they should have access to the NHS.

The insurance is a new requirement introduced by the UK Border Agency as part of changes to the BR1 Yellow Card form in June.

The revised BR1 form does not make it clear that a student will need Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, as the actual question relates to those applying as ‘self sufficient’ EU applicants.

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 

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

See also:

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance now required for Bulgarian and Romanian study work yellow cards

14 Year Long Stay Immigration Concession to be closed

UK Government launches far reaching consultation on family migration

Government accused of creating an ‘amnesty’ for asylum seekers, but 14 year long stay rule already exists

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals 

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

If you need any immigration advice or 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

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

STILL CONFUSED BY YELLOW CARD RULES? 

Free presentations are being run at Bison UK Immigration Advisers for Employers, Romanians and Bulgarians – Monday to Friday, from 11am-12noon and 3-4pm. No need to book, just turn up.

Venue:  Bison Management UK, 16 Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 1DL. Nearest Train Station: Elstree and Borehamwood Station; Buses from Edgware underground station: 107 and 292. 

Majestic College are offering vocational courses and special packages for EU students. See http://www.majesticcollege.org/ or call Joanna on 0208 207 1020, email info@majesticcollege.org or call in to the college Monday to Friday for a free consultation.

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10 Responses to “Illegal worker arrested in UKBA raid, but employers still confused by rules for Bulgarian and Romanian workers”
Read them below or add one

  1. […] Illegal worker arrested in UKBA raid, but employers still confused by rules for Bulgarian and Romani… […]

  2. […] Illegal worker arrested in UKBA raid, but employers still confused by rules for Bulgarian and Romani… […]

  3. Romanians and Bulgarians are entitled to healthcare anywhere in Europe, so the EHIC card should have been sufficient.

    Instead, UKBA decided to implement a new requirement for students. Of all categories of immigrants/temporary residents, they are targeting students who are struggling to pay for education. This leaves room for the greedy insurance companies to come up with targeted ‘comprehensive plans’ for them, at inflated costs.

    This is called DISCRIMINATION, no matter how you look at it. It’s not the law that discriminates, it’s the way it’s being implemented…

  4. […] Illegal worker arrested in UKBA raid, but employers still confused by rules for Bulgarian and Romani… […]

  5. […] Illegal worker arrested in UKBA raid, but employers still confused by rules for Bulgarian and Romani… […]

  6. […] Illegal worker arrested in UKBA raid, but employers still confused by rules for Bulgarian and Romani… […]

  7. […] Illegal worker arrested in UKBA raid, but employers still confused by rules for Bulgarian and Romani… […]

  8. R. Ivanov says :

    This whole story reminds me of the time when we lived under communism. We are all EQUAL European Union Citizens, especially when it comes to paying our annual instalment to the EU but when it comes to rights…. that’s a different story – some are more equal than others.

  9. […] Illegal worker arrested in UKBA raid, but employers still confused by rules for Bulgarian and Romani… […]

  10. Oana Labontu-Radu says :

    Nobody seems to say anything about the advantages of having Bulgarians and Romanians in the UK or immigrants in general, for that matter. It is a win-win situation; and there are powerful arguments for this statement

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