British Government Ministers do not know how many Romanians and Bulgarians will migrate to the UK when work restrictions expire next year, the Communities Secretary admitted.
Eric Pickles said he has “no confidence in figures”, published on his department’s own website, predicting about 13,000 will arrive, the same figure given by the Labour Government when the EU expanded in 2004.
The UK Government could only monitor “pull factors” attracting migrants, he said.
Romanian and Bulgarian citizens have had to put up with work restrictions the countries joined the EU.
Speaking at a Parliamentary Press Gallery lunch in Westminster, Mr Pickles said: “I know it’s a bloody mistake to tell the truth but… the truth is nobody really knows.
“So all the government can do is to just be careful about the pull factors that might range from the health service, through housing, through benefits within the law to try and ensure there isn’t an extra attraction to come here.
“Already there are people working in Lincolnshire and our crops being brought in (by people) that come from Romania and Bulgaria and the truth is very few carrots would be picked without that help that is there.”
“So there is no secret formula that is too horrible to bring out, there is no secret calculation that we are trying to hide from the world because, indeed the calculation has been on my website undisturbed for the best part of two years and there are other documents that we will be publishing in due course.”
The Home Office has said it has not produced forecasts and Downing Street has insisted it would not publish predictions on the number of people who could move to the UK when rules on the movement of people from the EU member states are relaxed at the end of 2013.
The formula on the website suggests 4,613 Bulgarians and 8,155 Romanians would head to the UK.
The countries joined the European Union in 2007 but under “transitional arrangements” their workers were prevented from travelling to the UK.
Migration Watch UK, which campaigns for tougher controls on immigration, estimates 250,000 Romanians and Bulgarians will move to the UK in the first five years after access restrictions are lifted. Source: BBC.
Romanian and Bulgarian yellow and blue card applicants should be aware of new questions which have been added to the UK Border Agency’s BRI form (version 12/2012).
In section 8 of the BR1 form, which concerns previous criminal convictions new questions have now been added about civil judgments and county court judgments (CCJ).
Civil judgments are not criminal convictions but can easily be picked up for an unpaid debt or bill.
A CCJ can be registered against you in your absence and notification may go to an old address without your knowledge.
Once registered, a CCJ will stay on your credit file for six years, making it difficult for you to obtain credit, a bank account, mobile phone contract or even a tenancy agreement.
Having a CCJ or other civil judgment may or may not lead to a refusal, but the next new question could be more tricky to deal with if you have stayed for longer than the three month period before exercising treaty rights as a student, self employed person or self sufficient person.
Question 8.11 asks:
‘How long have you lived in the UK?’
You are then required to provide the number of years and months, together with details of any ‘periods of absence of more than 6 months’ giving dates of leaving and returning to the UK.
Like other EU and EEA citizens, many Romanians and Bulgarians assume that after entering the UK they can stay as long as they wish without registering. They are unaware that they should be seeking legal work or exercising treaty rights in order to stay longer than 3 months.
Under the current 7 year transitional work restrictions due to end next year, only highly skilled, skilled workers on work permits, students on yellow cards, Au Pairs and certain seasonal agricultural workers can work legally on an employed basis in the UK.
If you have been arrested or detained, need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 1, 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed, Spouse Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email:
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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 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org