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Bulgarians and Romanians to gain free movement rights to live and work in the UK by the end of 2013 | Immigration Matters

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The UK Government is powerless to extend immigration restrictions on Romania and Bulgaria, says Home Secretary Theresa May. Despite earlier announcements of curbs on EU immigration, Bulgarians and Romanians will gain full free movement of labour rights to live and work in the UK by the end of December 2013.

In an another embarrassing climb down, Theresa May has conceded that the 7 year temporary curbs imposed in 2005 to protect the British labour market cannot be extended further.

Mrs May told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that was not possible under EU law, although she was “hoping” to limit the impact on the UK economy.

She admitted: “There are no further transitional controls we can put on. The transitional controls end in December 2013.”

Last year the Home Secretary extended UK work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, who joined the European Union in 2005. This year she warned that curbs could be extended, but had obviously not fully looked at EU regulations.

Immigration Matters reported that Mrs May was looking into a number of wide-ranging treaty busting restrictions on the European Union’s free movement of workers, including access to the UK for dependants of EU citizens, and fresh curbs on access to benefits for EU citizens.

The Guardian said that the Home Secretary believed she could make changes to one of the central pillars of the EU with the support of other member states such as the Netherlands, although Foreign Office sources are concerned that any curbs could lead to reprisals for UK citizens living abroad, such as UK pensioners in Spain.

The European Union is in dispute with the UK over the UK’s habitual “residence test”, which limits state benefit claims by new arrivals. The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, at one point last year said that if the UK test was abandoned, the cost to the UK could be more than £2bn a year; he later revised this figure to £155m.

Citizens of European economic area (EEA) countries who wish to claim unemployment benefit have to pass an habitual residence test, which proves their intention to settle in the UK or have a legal right to reside in the country.

Cynthia Barker, of Immigration Advisers Bison UK, said there is a lot of confusion around EU and EEA immigration, even in the appeal tribunal:

“EU citizens living in the UK do not realise that they can fill in a UKBA form to confirm residence in the UK, which could be required if, for instance, they are sponsoring a non-EU partner under EEA regulations.

“Bulgarians and Romanians exercising their treaty rights as a student are currently forced swear an Oath that they will “not be a burden on the state” and take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance before being granted a yellow card to work and study. They and the European Commission see this as discriminatory.”

There are no Home Office official estimates of the numbers 29 million Romanian and Bulgarian citizens who are likely to exercise their free movement rights once UK work controls are lifted.

Last month, Sir Andrew Green of Migration Watch UK called on the Government to extend work restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians for a further 5 years.

The Migration Advisory Committee said there is evidence Romanians and Bulgarians would move to Britain because of its stronger economy compared to other EU nations such as Spain.

Extending UK work restrictions will involve tearing up the treaty signed when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU, which the Government does not have the will to do.

Related immigration articles:

Migration Watch calls for 5 year extension to UK work restriction for 30m Bulgarians and Romanians

Jobless Europeans being paid £1000 by European Commission to work in UK

UKBA arrest 11 immigration offenders including a Bulgarian

Free Movement of EU nationals explained

UK Government wants curbs on EU migration

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

European Commission warning to UK on Free Movement rights and Comprehensive Sickness Insurance remains unanswered

Employment restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians extended until end of 2013

Yellow or Blue Card Refused – Appeal or Reapply?

How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their status in the UK

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: or visit for free immigration news updates.

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. UK jobs are available in the care industry.

For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 1020 or email:

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12 Responses to “Bulgarians and Romanians to gain free movement rights to live and work in the UK by the end of 2013”
Read them below or add one

  1. […] Bulgarians and Romanians to gain free movement rights to live and work in the UK by the end of 2013 […]

  2. ArtOfWar says :

    Chris, go to school and take some grammar courses, I’ll help you. But please stop embarrassing your country by not knowing the difference between “there” and “they’re/they are”. Also, please look at the structure of your (notice it’s not you’re) sentences. For a country with such an amazing educational system, you sure have not been to school much and this is why you are having difficulties in obtaining good employment.

  3. George says :

    Hi Everyone,

    This is absolutely wrong. My name is George, I’m an IT professional and I reach in the UK few months ago. I’m a Romanian citizen.
    If you don’t have enough information about the real situation of the EU policy and the fishy international relationships in Europe, please don’t say this wrong words.
    If you said that is already no enough space on your island, do you know for example that we are forced to have miserable salaries just because there are international economical pressure from EU? I’m talking now about Romania. Is not just about how some eastern European people are stealing your jobs, is about how some countries are forced to have no right everywhere, in their countries or whatever.
    There are few universal problems and you should understand some of them. The first one is that in the EU some countries have control over others. For example in Romania we have miserable salaries because some of Multinational Companies need more profit. Simple.
    The second one is about our (personal) professional formation. Don’t be upset but we are good sometimes, we have some extra motivation to do more and more. Is this wrong?
    The third is about gypsies. No one on this planet doesn’t like them, probably is natural. In this case we have to forget about human rights and humanity, generally. The issue is about how after the Second War some countries allowed or not “the right of gypsies to live”, literally. Now I found this very wrong, Romanian/Gypsy association makes me feel that you have no idea about what happened and you don’t care about some extra facts. Sad.

    Forgive me Mister Chris but I have the right to live and work, Romanian or not, European or not. Don’t be concerned about what you thing is right or not, sadly we have no right to judge anyone yet.

  4. Who do you think works in the NHS?

  5. 450000 primary schools places needed by 2015 due to polish etc yes were full, hospitals at bursting point, doctors 3 to 4 waiting delays, go away take your children, no jobs, piss off

  6. No there not falling off the island, and dont get me wrong immigration can be a good thing to a certain point but we are well past that point, hospitals are at bursting point, wages down, how is it right british builders etc have to have a price war with polish builders when its our country?? This country is packed, by 2015 there will be 450000 primary school places needed, but were not full no?? U have to wait 3 to 4 days for an appointment at the doctors, and by stealing a job u are taking a job away from a british people,i know polish etc do work hard im not saying that but we dont want anymore people,and now two more country who will be counting the days to get over here, leave us alone stay where u r

  7. Dear Chris,
    how exactly does one “steal” a job? What do you mean, the schools are full? is that why there are 3 British students in my class of 20, because there are so many of them QUALIFIED for it? The UK is full? I haven’t seen any people in the news falling off the island yet. You ignorant, hateful person. We do not come here to steal anything, you are not ENTITLED to anything, you need to work for it, and if you can’t work hard enough, we will.

  8. Hi, heres some advice,please dont come and steal a job, the uk is full, the schools, hospitals are at bursting point , oh yeah and there are no jobs!! please stay where you are, we dont want u

  9. […] Bulgarians and Romanians to gain free movement rights to live and work in the UK by the end of 2013 […]

  10. Bogdan says :

    The thing is that I work for only one company and, as I ‘ve heard I need a list of clients… They are providing me 5 days of full time work, so I do not need a second client, but jobcentre it’s keep telling me that I am providing them evidence that I’m employed, not self-employed, even if the person that took my interweav wrote that ! And I want to obtain it cause I want to stay in England to continue my studies and get a good life ! A lot of people obtain it months ago, even if they were in my situation and didn’t speak, write or read english, wich I do, as you can see ! Could you please help me out ? Thank you !

  11. Have you tried the job centre? What has been the problem?

  12. Bogdan says :

    Hello . My name is Bogdan and I’m în the UK from may . You are providing us a lot of helpful informations . The problem is that I’m still strugulin to obtain a National Inssurance Number and I can’t find any exact informations on how should I obtain it . Can you give me an advice ? Thank you and keep up the good work !

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