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Minister will not back down on Romanian and Bulgarian work permits and restrictions | Immigration Matters

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Social affairs Minister Henk Kamp has told farming and employer organisations he will not back down on plans to get tough on visas for Romanian and Bulgarian workers from July 1.

The minister says there are enough unemployed Dutch nationals and other EU workers already in the Netherlands who can do seasonal agricultural work.

Although Bulgaria and Romania are members of the EU, their nationals still require a permit to work in the Netherlands, as they do in many other coutries such as Britain and Switzerland.

Legal action

Market gardeners in the south of the country are to press ahead with their legal action against Kamp. They argue he has changed the rules in the middle of the season, putting their harvests at risk.

A group of some 2,000 Romanians have worked in the region’s orchards and strawberry fields for years.

Kamp has told the state-run jobs agency UWV that work permits for people from Bulgaria and Romania may only be issued under very strict circumstances.

In 2010, the UWV gave permits to 2,734 Romanian and 866 Bulgarians to do temporary agricultural jobs. This means 97% of seasonal work is done by people without a work permit, Kamp said. Source: Dutch NewsNL

In 2007 Bulgaria and Romania were admitted to the EU, but with work restrictions in the UK and other European countries.

Many UK employers are unaware that despite the fact that they are EU members, when it comes to employment Bulgarian and Romanian citizens do not have the same rights as other Europeans and other A8 Accession countries.

There is an estimated half a million Romanians alone in the UK, many of whom are working as self employed contractors, which is allowed, whilst others study and work on a yellow coloured registration certificate commonly known as ‘Yellow Card’.

After 12 months of continuous legal work they can apply for residence under a so called ‘Blue Card’ registration.

Working in the UK as a genuine self employed contractor for certain industries, such as IT or the building trade, is acceptable. But the majority of employers are unwilling to deal with the practicalities of having self employed staff, for instance waiters, chefs or carers, presenting invoices every week.

There is also the issue of obtaining a National Insurance (NI) number, which by itself does not infer entitlement to work, as a self employed person.

One self employed Romanian lady told Immigration Matters that she had been refused an NI number five times despite providing all the necessary paperwork to the Glasgow based office.

Study route to Yellow and Blue Cards

Romanian and Bulgarians who study vocational or sandwich-type courses, such as QCF (which replaced NVQ’s this year) in Customer Service, IT, Catering, Hospitality, Construction or Health and Social Care, are allowed to work full time, as stated on the back of their Yellow Cards.

Employers can employ Romanian and Bulgarian workers provided they obtain a yellow card registration certificate allowing them to work in the UK whilst studying for a British qualification.

Provided they stick to the course and work legally for 12 months in line with their course, they will usually be granted a residence ‘Blue Card’ permit.

Some students, perhaps unwilling or unable to pay the fees, drop out of the course as they believe that having obtained a Yellow Card and NI Number they can continue working without further checks.

The Romanian/Bulgarian students and their employers may find themselves in breach of the immigration rules and may therefore lose their eligibility for residence or Blue Card.

As employers can be fined up to £10,000 for each illegal worker they employ, they are now looking deeper into their staff files. 

Employers also have the option of applying for a work permit for a Romanian or Bulgarian worker, outside of Tier 2 Rules, provided the job meets the requirements.

TIP – HOW TO FIND APPLICATION FORMS FOR A YELLOW OR BLUE CARD REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE

If you are looking for a particular form or guidance note, try using the UKBA search facility or Google to locate it, rather than work your way through the maze of pages.

For instance, many people ask: ‘where can I find the form to apply for a Yellow Card?’

The form you are looking for is a ‘BR1’, but it is not called a ‘yellow card application’. In fact a search on the UKBA website for ‘yellow card’ will only give you a ‘No Results found for the Search term ‘yellow card’ reply. So you need to search using the correct name or a more defined search.

The full title of the BR1 form is:

‘APPLICATION FOR A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE FOR A BULGARIAN OR ROMANIAN NATIONAL EXERCISING A TREATY RIGHT IN THE UNITED KINGDOM’

You can locate the Forms BR1, BR2, BR3, BR4, BR5, BR6, BR7 and ‘http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/bulgariaromania/guidanceforbulgariaromania0408‘ at:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/bulgariaromania/formbr1.pdf

However, if you are reading this article in six months time it may not be at the same location or the Rules may have changed and the BR1 -7 forms may no longer be needed at all!

As a further restriction, the UK Border Agency has started compelling Bulgarians and Romanians to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover when applying for yellow card registration as a working student. The insurance is a new requirement introduced as part of changes to the BR1 Yellow Card form in June…Full story… See also:

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance now required for Bulgarian and Romanian study work yellow cards If you need help or advice there is also a UKBA telephone number given for the ‘Accession State customer contact centre’ which is: 0114 207 4074.

You can also seek advice from an Immigration Adviser, but make sure they are registered with the OISC, which provides a list of qualified advisers all over the UK. 

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:

Switzerland joins Euro block on Bulgarian and Romanian Workers

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

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 

Still confused about Bulgarian and Romanian rules?

Bison UK Immigration Advisers are running free presentations for Employers, Romanians and Bulgarians the week of 11-22 April 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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  1. […] work permits “can help to make immigration more acceptable to society”, the statement […]

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