In September this year, we reported on how recent media coverage on fears of the “sharp rise” in numbers of Bulgarians and Romanians coming to the UK were unfounded. As the new year approaches and EU restrictions are removed so that nationals of Bulgaria and Romania are given free movement to the UK, the media has begun reporting of the public’s concern over the “sudden influx” of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals arriving in the UK for the purposes of living and working. This coupled with the Tories benefits plans for these migrants has led the European Commission to claim that Romanian and Bulgarian nationals moving to Britain will help the economy.
Romanian & Bulgarian: No Visa Restrictions
On 1 January 2007, Romania and Bulgaria became member states of the European Union giving their nationals the right to not only enter and remain in the UK without a visa but also to work freely, providing they have an accession worker card. Romanian and Bulgarian nationals wanting to work in the UK will need to obtain authorisation to work before starting any employment unless they are exempt from doing so.
In 2014, EU restrictions are set to be removed, allowing nationals of Bulgaria and Romania free movement to the UK. Despite these countries joining the EU in 2007, restrictions were put on the number who could move to the UK. However, these restrictions will be abolished in 2014, thus given rise to the question of whether there will be a sudden influx of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals arriving in the UK for the purposes of living and working.
European Commission: Young EU Migrant’s Beneficial to Economy
The European Commission said in a report that immigrants to Britain from EU countries paid far more tax than they received in benefits so they were therefore an economic bonus. The Commission shares the opinion of many independent economists who believe that migrant workers tend to be young and active and generally contribute more in taxes than they cost in public services. In addition they bring with them many valuable skills. The Commission’s comments come after David Cameron intends to defy European law by restricting benefits to migrants from Bulgaria, Romania and other European countries.
Titus Corlatena, Romania’s Foreign Minister has told Channel 5 News that he did not expect a “flood” of migrants from his country to come to Britain in the new year and attacked the way the immigration debate had been conducted in the UK. He called on Prime Minister David Cameron to reject “in clear terms if it’s possible the xenophobic and populistic and once again sometimes racist attitudes which are promoted by some other British politicians.
Successfully applying for an Work Permit & Accession Worker Card
UK employers wishing to hire Bulgarian and Romanian nationals must currently apply for a work permit. If this is approved, nationals from these countries must apply for an accession worker card. Bulgarian and Romanian nationals and their family members who are considering moving to the UK, should seek legal advice from expert UK Immigration Lawyers regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority to ensure that they know their options and how they can proceed to the next steps. Feel free to contact us to discuss your immigration situation and we will assess your case and provide you with options of visiting or settling in the UK.