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Migrants from Eastern European ‘add £5bn’ to Britain’s GDP report finds | Immigration Matters

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Immigrants from Eastern Europe have added almost £5bn to Britain’s economy since 2004, according to a report published by the BBC last this month.

The National Institute for Economic and Social Research says 700,000 people moved to the UK after their former communist homelands joined the EU.

It believes they drove up British GDP by 0.38% in the years to 2009, the equivalent of £4.91bn.

But others, like anti-immigration lobby group MigrationWatch UK, believe EU immigration was a “poor deal” for the UK.

The report says countries which imposed restrictions on eastern workers saw growth reduced because of this.

Only the UK, Ireland and Sweden allowed free access from the start to workers from the eight 2004 accession countries, which included Poland, Latvia and Hungary.

The last EU members to keep restrictions – Germany and Austria – have lifted them on 1 May.

UK economic output up

Between 2004 and 2009, an estimated 1.5 million people from Eastern Europe came to the UK. It is thought 700,000 of them stayed, with half a million from Poland alone.

During the same period Britain’s GDP grew by £98bn, or 7.7%, and the NIESR study says that a 5% share of the £98bn can be put down to the migrants.

The NIESR says the UK probably benefited from the restrictions imposed by other member states. It says Germany will suffer a “permanent scar” on its level of output, with its GDP reduced by between 0.1 and 0.5%.

One of the report’s authors, Dawn Holland, says that the final lifting of restrictions by all EU countries will make little difference to the situation.

“Lifting barriers in Germany may divert some Polish and other workers away from the UK”, she says, “especially given the relative strength of the German economy”.

“But as the existence of support networks for new migrants is one of the most important factors, much of the shift in migrants since 2004 is likely to prove permanent.”

‘Trivial contribution’ Sir Andrew Green

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch UK, told the BBC: “What matters most is not just GDP but GDP per head.

“This report is clear evidence that the contribution of these migrants was trivial. They added about 1% to population but only about one-third of 1% to production.

“Given the extra strain of public services this has to be a poor deal for the public, especially in the areas most affected.” Source: BBC.

Not all Eastern Europeans have the same working rights

The UK has allowed free movement to A8 members since the EU expansion in 2004, however, a common misconception by British employers is that all members of the European Union have the same rights to work here. Wrong. Not all EU members have the right to freely work in the UK.

As members of the European Union, Bulgarians and Romanians have visa-free access to the UK, however, they do not enjoy the same rights to work as the earlier A8 Eastern European EU accession countries such as Poland and Latvia.

Employers overlook the fact that they cannot employ a Romanian or Bulgarian worker in the same way they can a Polish or other A8 accession country citizen.

One employer told me that he thought it was alright to employ a Romanian waitress in his restaurant because she was ‘European and had a National Insurance (NI) number and tax reference’.

Possession of an NI number does not mean a person has the right to work in the UK and is not a ‘statutory defence’ for an employer facing charges or a £10,000 fine for illegal employment.

Many Romanians and Bulgarians register as self employed and start businesses, which is allowed, or work and study on a Yellow Card Visa.

Romanian and Bulgarian Students taking vocational or sandwich courses, such as NVQ in Health and Social Care, are allowed to work full time, as stated on their Yellow Cards

See article:

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website 

See article:

 

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website

See also:

Free Movement of EU nationals explained

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

EU migration policies are ‘mad’ says Lord Digby Jones

HOW TO FIND APPLICATION FORMS FOR A ‘YELLOW’ OR ‘BLUE’ CARD REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE ON THE UK BORDER AGENCY WEBSITE

Switzerland joins Euro block on Bulgarian and Romanian Workers

Border controls could be reintroduced in Schengen area

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:  

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk 

Bison UK Immigration Advisers are running free presentations for Employers, Romanians and Bulgarians the month of May 2011, Monday to Friday, from 11am-12noon and 3-4pm. No need to book, just turn up. Venue: Bison Management UK, 16 Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire. WD6 1DL. Nearest Train Station: Elstree and Borehamwood Station; Buses from Edgware underground station: 107 and 292.

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