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Special work permit application forms and guidance for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals published | Immigration Matters

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The UK Border Agency has published new work permit application forms and revised guidance notes for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals on its website – see work permits – Bulgarian and Romanian nationals only

The forms and guidance are specifically for work permit applications for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals made on or after 01 April 2009. 

Work permit arrangements are only open to employers wishing to employ Bulgarian and Romanian nationals. Employers wishing to employ migrants from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) should do so under Tier 2 of the points based system. See How I sponsor a migrant on the UK Border Agency website. 

But aren’t Bulgarian and Romanian workers the same as Poles? 

The short answer is no. Employers should be aware that Bulgarian and Romanians are not treated in the same way as other European Union (EU) citizens, and have less rights to work here that non-EU citizens such as the Swiss. 

Many Bulgarian and Romanian job hunters who travel to the UK are completely unaware that restrictions are in place. The newest EU members understandably assume that because they belong to the European Union they can move and work freely in any member state. This is not the case. 

Employers can now be fined up to £10,000 for each illegal worker employed. Possession of a National Insurance number is not a statutory defence for an employer who thinks this gives the holder the right to work in the UK. 

When the EU expanded in 2004, eight new member states, the so called ‘A8’ group of countries, including Poland, were only given free movement of labour by the UK, Ireland and Sweden. 

Germany, Spain, France and Italy were the notable countries that refused to allow the former Eastern Bloc citizens the right to work. This caused a massive imbalance resulting in former Immigration Minister Tony McNulty’s famous prediction that just 13,000 Eastern Europeans would come to the UK in the first year to be proved wildly out of touch with reality. 

It is estimated that around a million workers have arrived from Eastern Europe prompting an outcry from the tabloid press and later the Government to impose last minute restrictions on the ‘A2’ Bulgarian and Romanian citizens. 

Bulgarian and Romanian migrants can set up a business here or register as students under the Yellow Card scheme. Students taking vocational (NVQ) courses can work up to 40 hours per week on their Yellow Cards, which can lead to a more permanent status.

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship, Work Permits, Visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:  or visit

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218 Responses to “Special work permit application forms and guidance for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals published”
Read them below or add one

  1. Mr Kelly , the only advice you should be giving this bunch of slippery whingers is ( what’s the quickest way out of here ) from many of the comments on this site it’s pretty apparent that they have no respect for our systems , rules or laws , and will go to any lengths to avoid or manipulate the system to suit their own ends . Their arrogance is nauseating and it is obvious that they feel above the laws of our country . It begs the question, are these the type of person we want over here ? Our prisons are full of them , and there’s one of them begging on every street corner.The non EU members they mention have historically belonged to the commonwealth and have made vast contributions to the wealth and security of this country, providing men and materials to fight the nazis and their facist Romanian and Bulgarian allies . These people have a sneering contempt for the people in this country and are fed the lie that the English are idle spongers and that this country would grind to a halt without them . Their slavish attitude to work and their willingness to work in any conditions for peanuts has turned the clock back 50 years for the English worker , as where they come from they have no concept of rights and their nasty gulag mentality is making it impossible for an English man to compete , their pride goes out the window where works whereas we English at least still refuse to work like slaves . The best thing they can do for all of us is go back to their villages and claim benefits from their own tax payers.

  2. Andreea says :

    That is how we feel ”trapped” and I did not mean in this country because obviously we have the choice to leave or to remain but when it comes to working out these regulations and getting a job you can not help but to feel trapped.I know how I’ve felt when I first arrived in the UK and still do sometime.I had to go through a number of lawyers and tons of papers and letter to get what I wanted at the time. My point is it is hard yet if you are ready to fight for what you want you will most definately succeed.And people do complain about other restrictions is just that to each its own we are in the UK we will complain about things that are affecting our situations, we are humans, that makes us self centred by nature haha. And I was not bashing anybody or anything I was trying to show some encouragement, I appologize if it came off otherwise.

  3. You are not ‘trapped’ in this country. It is not like the Soviet bloc where you needed an exit visa to leave. Free movement is supposed to apply in all EU countries, yet nobody seems to complain about restrictions inposed by other nations?

  4. Andreea says :

    Just to add something if you are able to prove that you have worked within the UK for 12 months you do not need a blue card to take on employment just a proof and if they refuse to hire you based on the fact that you do not hold a blue card yet you have legally worked for a year prior, it would be discriminatory and therefore you could file a lawsuit against the company.At least thats what i would do. Just a small advice for those that feeling trapped and scared of these things, do not be scared there is always around it they’ve just put all these rules in place to scare off the ignorant.

  5. Andreea says :

    Hello, I’ve read some of the many comments posted regarding to this article. The UK law is so complicated but yet they are so tricky they do not inform us, poor romanians and bulgarians, about the exact requirements for the blue certification card.I have the same issue as some of you, being that I have exercised a treaty right as a self employed person for over 4 years now, obviously i did not apply for an yellow card because it is NOT a must.Second if you want to remain self employed you do not need to apply for any card other than the normal business registration with the home office.And I would like to add that any employee that is offering you self employment it is not an employee but a client you are offering a service you make a contract with them therefore it is unlawful for them to ask you for yellow card as long as you prove your business is genuine.They are not your bosses so you do not answer them ( excuse me for my arrogance) but im tired of these romanians bowing their heads and letting themselves be walked on. Another thing I would like to add is that I will apply for blue card or maybe I will wait to apply for indefinite leave.
    Anyway let me stop babbling, I wanted to ask if you offer legal aid?
    Thank you.

  6. iliyana says :

    Hi! My name is Iliyana and I am Bulgarian. In March/April 2012 I have applied for blue registration certificate as a student who worked legally for 12 months. I finished level 1 and 2 vocational course. Few days ago I received a letter from the home office and they ask for payslips since April 2012 by now.
    My question is are they allowed to ask for it if I am applying for the previous year and can I write to them that?
    I think that if I am applying for the one year period march 2011 till march 2012, they are not right to ask for more wage slips.
    Thanks very much!

  7. Hello, my name is Ana and I want to know how can I obtain a student yellow card. If I make a nvq course in health and social care do I have any chanse to obtain the yellow card and how does it take to obtain it?

  8. Is it possible to look for new job before you get the Blue Card after 12 months of completing the Student Yellow card rout? It takes HO 9 months for approving the Blue Card and I want to change jobs right away.

    Thank you

  9. The UKBA can only see a few people a day and tens of thousands are applying for yellow and blue cards. Keep trying or do a postal application.

  10. They will try and challenge anything! If refused, you should appeal to the First Tier Tribunal. See:
    Romanian Family wins UK Immigration Appeal against Yellow Card and Blue Card Refusal

    There is still a question, put by the EC in April, as to whether it is legal for the UK to force Bulgarians and Romanians to take out sickness insurance.

  11. Hi, I got my yellow card last year just before the new rule for comprehensive sick insurance applied. I have applied for Blue Card this year without any medical insurance as it was not featured optional in the application for Blue Certificate. Would Home Office challenge my application?

    Thank You

    (4 months gone…still waiting for HO decision)

  12. dorina says :

    I got a yellow card from october 2011. I had worked for 12 months and had my pay slips. i should apply for the blue card but it,s impossible to get an appointment at the Home Office. Is it any possibility to help me to get that appointment and how much are the fees.
    thank you

  13. There is no fee for EU applicants

  14. Monica says :

    I would like to know if there still is a fee for applying for a Blue Card work permit. I went on the UK Border Agency website and there isn’t any mentioned at the moment. Or maybe I am missing out something?!?
    Thank you!

  15. There is no ‘tax’. EEA/EU applications are normally free of charge. A fee is payable for an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal.

  16. Catalina says :

    Hi, I am a Romanian and i have purple card , I am working from more then one year, my husband has blue card , can we applied for one Romanian girl who is married and has children for work permit if we employ her as domestic? Thank you.

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