Notice: wp_enqueue_script was called incorrectly. Scripts and styles should not be registered or enqueued until the wp_enqueue_scripts, admin_enqueue_scripts, or login_enqueue_scripts hooks. Please see Debugging in WordPress for more information. (This message was added in version 3.3.0.) in /home/immigration/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 4138
How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their status in the UK | Immigration Matters

Want to learn more about UK/EU Immigration Law? Click Act Now to learn more... Act Now

Call Us +44 7950 458 464 |
 Categories : News


If you are one of the many Bulgarian or Romanian citizens working in the UK ‘without papers’, read on.

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 France, Germany, Poland, Slovakia or other A8 Accession countries.

When Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2007 the UK government, like many other European governments, imposed limits on working the newest members of the EU. See: Free Movement of EU nationals explained.

Whilst they are free to move around Europe without a visa, they can only work in the UK as employed persons with special permission. This restriction was extended last year by the UK Immigration Minister Damian Green until January 2014.

Bulgarians and Romanians are allowed to set up a business, apply for a work permit, study or reside in the UK as a ‘self sufficient’ person, provided they can prove they have enough funds to support themselves.

Romanian Sudent gets Yellow Card

Many who have obtained yellow cards as ‘self employed’ workers are actually working as employed persons via the back door. Others are working without any papers or permits at all.

Some employers are unaware of the restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians and see them as ‘Europeans’ who have full rights to work.

But other more unscrupulous employers know exactly what they are doing and choose to exploit the illegal worker by paying below minimum wage rates, usually cash in hand.

For workers who find themselves in this unfortunate position, their lives can become miserable and hopeless. In effect they are trapped and have no choice but to work long hours in poor and often unsafe conditions whilst scraping by on slave labour rates of pay.

So what can you do if you are trapped in illegal employment?

There are a number of options for legalising your stay in the UK, but the first thing you must realise is that you are a human being and you always have a choice.

Secondly, unlike most illegal workers, you have the advantage of being a member of the European Union, which means you have treaty rights in the UK, for instance the right to work and study.

Bulgarians and Romanians may freely travel to the UK to exercise their rights under Article 39 and apply for a Yellow Card registration card to work and study full time whilst studying for a vocational qualification, such as NVQ or QCF in Customer Service or Health and Social Care

Importantly, this right can also apply to you, even if you are here working illegally or have broken the rules in the past.

This right can also apply to you if you have previously been refused yellow card.

This right applies you if you are here on a self employed yellow card, but have not really been running a business and would now like to clean up you act and get things straightened out with your employer.

In other word, whatever your situation there is usually a solution to your problem!

Once you have legal papers, you will be free to work where it suits you and where you will be paid properly, with tax deducted by your employer instead of been passed on to you to pay at a later date, at decent rates of pay.

There are plenty of good, honest UK employers looking for workers who are willing to work hard and are prepared to work on flexible shifts. Bulgarians and Romanians are popular with British employers because they are willing to do all of the above.

See also:

Romanian Gangmaster Sara Recruitment loses licence for self-employment sham

Yellow or Blue Card Refused – Appeal or Reapply?

Employment restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians extended until end of 2013

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

7 tips for completing a Yellow Card BR1 application to work and study in the UK

Health care workers needed in UK now

If you are in the UK illegally or would like advice an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

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

Spread the Word, like or share this page, your friends will also love it and thanks for it.

Do you employ foreign workers? Don't risk a £20,000 fine and a possible custodial sentence. We can advice on Entrepreneur Visas, Investor Visas and Home Office sponsor licence compliance for your business. Use the button below to schedule an appointment...


Immigration Adviser, Speaker and Author See also: Profile - Profile:!/groups/14119859749/

179 Responses to “How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their status in the UK”
Read them below or add one

  1. Dragos says :

    1. It was better with a visa to come to uk becuse that eay no f****** gipsy romas sho they don’tevdn speak a proper romanian language be allowed to come and embarresd romanian nation.
    2. It was better with uk visa because you at least knew if you are accepted to work without having to wait so much time for a papers.
    3. I’m sure they realized to late that they should’nt allowed romanians in uk and since 2007 theyir only opyion was to keep them waiting. I was at the olympic stadium since the beginning to end and 80 percent from site supervisors to labourers wore romanian so probably that is why they. Funished with 2 months in advance. Olso supervised major sites around london and in andyhe majority if british workers especially foremans usually all they think half a day is how to have a pint X 10.
    When you are not wanted this is what is happening their country their rules like fine not f**k off

  2. We have arranged hundreds of yellow cards for Romanians and Bulgarians. Recent BR1 applications are taking 4 months and appointments are available at Croydon.
    You are still legally liable to declare your income for tax purposes, so you are defrauding HMRC. It’s not only HMRC who lose from tax cheats but all British citizens and residents. You are giving all honest, law abiding, Romanians and Bulgarians a bad name.

  3. One Human says :

    Charles Kelly you are a liar. Ever since yellow and blue cards appeard the waiting times where minimum 5 months.
    Never in the history someone got the yellow card in 2-3 weeks.
    I got my yellow card 2 days ago after getting an appointment in Croydon. Everything was fine and they gave it to me in the same day. But I really do not need it right now as I already have NINo, UTR and I am registered with HMRC as self employed.
    Now the yellow card gets out of the question because applying by post would take 6-7 months and you will get it when there will be no more restrictions.
    What is weird is that in theory you should work self employed for a while before going to DWP for a NINo. But if DWP is not satisfied with the proofs you brought to support your self employment they will reject you. Now if they keep rejecting you for a while and you pass 05 April you will need to declare your income to HMRC in order to pay the income tax. The problem when you try to do that is that you cannot complete a tax return without an UTR number and that the UTR number is issued only with a valid NINo.
    So in theory you cannot pay tax for your income and you cannot register as a self employed with HMRC unless you have convinced DWP that you are genuine self employed.
    I have exploited this breach in law involuntary because I couldn’t proof DWP that I am self employed and got two years in UK with income from self employment of over 40000£ with no taxes paid. So HMRC lost 5000£ of taxes I owed them simply because they didn’t want to take my money. Thanks for that HMRC

  4. […] in 2010-2011 to fund the UK education of those from countries such as Germany, France, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria and […]

  5. […] in 2010-2011 to fund the UK education of those from countries such as Germany, France, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria and […]

  6. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… […]

  7. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… […]

  8. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… […]

  9. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… […]

  10. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… […]

  11. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… […]

  12. Cannot comment on why it took you 5 months to get a yellow card in 2008, but others got their card in 2 weeks. Even in 2011 it was only taking 3-4 weeks.

  13. Paul Suciu says :

    “Two years ago we could get a yellow card in 2 or 3 weeks.” that is simply not true. I came to the UK in 2008 and it took 5 months, nearly half way into my term to get the yellow card. It was and is my impression that this is a willful delay, a way of discriminating and humbling individuals. But soon to be irrelevant. I now have a decent job in Finance, plans and ambitions. I can stay here or move forward. The system just made it harder, made me wary and paranoid towards a political process that toys with people’s lives. More cynical if you will.

  14. I think everyone need to go back to where they come from we would not have English kids on the dole if Romanians and Bulgarians where not in the uk, it really sickens me as I have heard pepole sayin oh look he dont want to work no it’s not that he dose not he can’t find a job as they are been giving to pepole who r not born in the uk, Britain is no longer until we come out of the eu then we will be fine but no that’s not gonna happen because when con n tors n labour stand again you will all vote for labour as they lie well all of them lie they r only there for the money and you pepole would of voted for them because you thought they were gonna do everythink they said but britan is the way it is because no one has the balls to stand up to the govemant I no one thing I did not vote for lieing idiots well they all r when they studed politics who really needs to study politics as you r meant to listen to the pepole

  15. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat…  […]

  16. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… Tags: appeal, bail, Bulgarian, capita text message to overstayers, Cynthia Barker, How to appeal against a visa refusal, immigration, immigration detention, immigration lawyer, immigration matters, Immigration Rules split non-EEA families apart, Immigration UK, New visa rules for overseas students, overstayers, overstayers arrested and detained, refused bail, Regularise legalise your stay in the UK, removal directions, Romanian, section 10 administrative removal, Student recruitment, Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre […]

  17. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… […]

  18. […] vice-president said it will not be possible for Britain to restrict the freedom of movement of Bulgarians and Romanians when UK work restrictions expire next […]

  19. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… […]

  20. […] Romanian and Bulgarian BR1 applicants can expect to wait 7 months for a decision on their yellow or blue card postal application, so the temptation to pay a fixer for a same day service appointment is often irresistible. […]

  21. […] Romanians and Bulgarians are able to find one or even two jobs in the UK, while unemployed locals claim there is no work. […]

  22. […] of educated hardworking Romanians and Bulgarians who come to the UK to improve their lives by working legally with a yellow or blue card, not to claim […]

  23. Immigration Matters is well aware of the problems of NI numbers, yellow card delays and so on. The self employed route was abused by some migrants who were not really self employed at all, but working in restaurants as waiters on a self employed yellow card. Perhaps this is why everyone, even genuine cases, are experiencing difficulties? We have dealt with hundreds of BR1 and appeals against refusal cases for Romanians and Bulgarians. In fact we are one of the few and one of the first blogs to publicise these issues. See earlier articles:
    Romanian Family wins UK Immigration Appeal against Yellow Card and Blue Card Refusal
    Immigration Matters published news of the EC case against the UK last year:
    European Commission warning to UK on Free Movement rights and Comprehensive Sickness Insurance remains unanswered

    If you want to know why you do not have the same rights as other EU countries (who spent billions funding and creating the system over last half century) perhaps you should put that question to your own government and the EU who signed the treaties and did the deal when they joined up?

    Other EU countries have imposed work restrictions, as most of them did in the first EU expansion in 2004, when Britain and Ireland did not. That’s why the second most popular laguage in the UK is now Polish.

    The Yellow Card delays are no doubt caused by the sheer volume of BR1 applications being sent to the UKBA. Two years ago we could get a yellow card in 2 or 3 weeks.

    We should point out that it is not only Bulgarian and Romanian applications which are delayed. Non-EU cases can take years – again because of the hundreds of thousands of cases being sent to the Home Office.

  24. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… […]

  25. […] How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their stat… […]

  26. nicusor says :

    because the waiting times for a romanian to get any permit is 9-12 months…. the “rules” you talk about can not be followed. that’s why the EU started infringement procedures against UK, because this government makes it impossible for a romanian national to exercise any treaty rights. if we are all EU citizens why some have more rights then others???
    Dear Charles Kelly, you may talk about the romanians and bulgarians by quoting from all the laws and with all this legal mambojambo but you don’t know the truth, the real truth…. and for you to understand things more clearly I’ll give an example: lets take one romanian citizen and one spanish citizen. the romanian guy comes to the uk and wants to register as a self employed person. he calls HMRC and asks for a UTR number so he can work legally and pay taxes, he get’s the answer : ” You need a national insurance number first!” ok…so he calls the NINO people but they say you have to prove that you are working in order to get a NINO number…WTF??? and then you ask how can I work without a NINO in order to get a NINO and they say you can work 3 months as self-employed without any “papers” and during this time you have to get your NINO and AFTER that you get your UTR and AFTER that you get your yellow card….. so to be legal you have to get an employer to hire you as a self-employed person with no NINO and no UTR in the hope that you get those and become 100% legal…..come on!!!! I’ve been thru all that, and it’s a NIGHTMARE.and when you wait for a yellow card for 6-12 months you eat grass…because it’s free.
    If you are the Spanish guy (or any other EU citizen)you get your NINO in a week and work and get benefits from the second week.

    So…MR. Charles Kelly walk a mile in my shoes…

    I, like many other romanian citizens don’t want charity or pity we want our rights as EU citizens.

  27. Romanians and Bulgarians have the right to travel freely and come to the UK for three months before execising options or treaty rights to study, become self employed, stay on as ‘self sufficient’ , etc. Whilst the majority are here legally, many are here illegally because they have not followed the free movement rules.

  28. Nicusor says :

    Hello guys, I’ve been reading a lot regarding the romanian/bulgarian issue in the UK…nobody said one thing..romanian and bulgarians are not illigal imigrants, they have the right to live in this country and from 01/01/2014 to work with no restrictions. For all the english people who say: ” British jobs for british people” and “go back to your country” you have to realize that your goverment sighned the treaty and nobody forced your hand to do so. You (the UK) act like you are the birthday boy, you called us for the party,you take the present (free trade and increase in turism) but when we want o piece of the cake we get a slap, when we want a cup of tea you give us tap water and when we want to dance you show us the door. THAT IS NOT OK !!! were you drunk when you sighned??? That too bad…we are the handover… It doesn’t matter how good or how bad are romanians/bulgarians the only important thing is that you sighned on the dotted line you have to deal with it now.
    I have a lot of english friends and I don’t think they are laizy and the fact that foreighners pay for them to stay on benefits it’s also false… so to all english that hate us : please don’t blame us for beeing here blame the people you voted for. cheers all the best.

  29. We,Romanians,are not bad people.the ones that come over here and commit crimes are gypsies,living on money from prostitution and pick-pocketing living in houses given by government.Why England gives so much money in benefits to all foreigners when they even don’t try for a job? I don’t blame English people feeling angry and frustarated when they work hard and pay tax and those money go to all other nationalities.Stop giving benefits and won’t be so many immigrants.
    And I think you’ve got other nationalities that come over raping young girls and killing people!!!what about them?why you let them in your country and give them so many rights?you shouldn’t mind people who are honest and work hard an pay tax,no matter what nationality they are,you should mind people who commit crime and make your country not a safe place to be

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked by *.

You must beLogged in to post a comment.