UK work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, who are members of the European Union, will be extended until the end of 2013, Immigration Minister Damian Green announced today.
Romanian and Bulgarian (EU2) nationals seeking to work in the UK will still need permission from the UK Border Agency before they can work in the UK.
The Immigration Minister said:
‘Maintaining these controls will make sure migration benefits the UK and does not adversely impact on our labour market. The government is radically reforming the immigration system, and has already announced an annual limit on work visas and tough new rules for students to ensure net migration is reduced from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands.
‘The Migration Advisory Committee has made a clear case for extending the existing restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians. This government has also made clear that we will always introduce transitional controls on all new EU member states as a matter of course.’
The decision is in line the government’s policy to ‘reduce employers’ dependence on migrant workers, particularly for lower skilled jobs and help the unemployed to find their way back into work’.
A report from the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) looked at the impact on the domestic labour market if the transitional controls were removed. It found that lifting the current restrictions could cause more EU2 nationals to come to the UK to work, particularly in lower skilled occupations where there is greater risk of displacement of resident workers and a negative impact on wages.
Permission to work will normally be given only where the worker has a specific job offer and the work is in skilled employment for which the employer has been unable to find a suitably qualified resident worker. There are also quota-based arrangements for lower skilled jobs in the agricultural and food processing sectors which will stay at the same level for 2012 and 2013.
The agency added that the extension of the restrictions does not affect the position of those who have already been authorised to take employment in the UK.
The Migration Advisory Committee’s report into EU2 (Bulgarian and Romanian) nationals was published on 4 November 2011 and can be found on the UKBA website. Source: UK Border Agency.
The news will come as a disappointment to the thousands of Bulgarian and Romanian citizens who are hoping to work in the UK.
Although the public will largely support the government’s moves to restrict immigration, certain sectors are still struggling to find staff.
Care homes are facing a staffing crisis following a government clampdown on non-EU immigration and changes to Tier 2 work visa rules.
Employers looking for staff, like those in the care industry, are increasingly turning to EU member workers from Eastern Europe.
However, not all EU members have the same rights to work in the UK and getting it wrong could result in a hefty fine for the employer.
Employers are often 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.
Even though 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. See: Free Movement of EU nationals explained.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org