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Government has ‘no idea’ how many Romanians and Bulgarians will migrate to UK | Immigration Matters

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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: or visit for free immigration news updates.

Related immigration blogs:

New Questions on BR1 Form could trip up overstaying Romanians and Bulgarians applying for Yellow Cards

Cheeky Girls defend Romanian immigrants who are not benefit seekers

Work restrictions on migrant workers from Romania ‘leads them to stay longer in UK and bring families’, survey reveals

79% want to ban EU migrants from UK, poll suggests

Romanian and Bulgarian immigration – UK Government strategy ‘farcical’, MP says

MP calls for variation of free movement treaty and limits on EU Immigration from Romania and Bulgaria

EEA National’s right of residence in the UK

Romanian and Bulgarian influx will cause housing shortage

UK to impose work restrictions on Croatians when they join EU on 1 July 2013

Keep out EU benefit tourists says UK Prime Minister

Yellow or Blue Card Refused – Appeal or Reapply?

Romanian Family wins UK Immigration Appeal against Yellow Card and Blue Card Refusal

Free Movement of EU nationals explained

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

Is the EU’s ‘Free Movement’ dream over?

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

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

UK cannot stop Romanians and Bulgarians say EU Justice Commissioner

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:

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2 Responses to “Government has ‘no idea’ how many Romanians and Bulgarians will migrate to UK”
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  1. […] Government has ‘no idea’ how many Romanians and Bulgarians will migrate to UK […]

  2. Soledas says :

    Same restrictions should instead be applied to any other no-EU applicant. The issue is that no-EU immigrants do not apply at all as they overstay their VISA and hide till someone rescue them. They then buy fake documentation in order to stay. We had an African illegal worker for the last 5 years and she has just be given a VISA tu stay in the UK. She has already arranged for all her African family to come to the UK as they need NHS treatment. How can the government be so ill concerned about Romanians coming here and speculate how many they will be? The reality is that heavy restrictions should be applied to other fraudsters with bad intentions and that want to use the hospitality of the British and abuse the system. The African in our office has resigned the very next day the Birmingham HO gave her a VISA and now she is with no work and asking for benefits. Nice!!! Can the UK afford this when families are in huge debts?

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