25 November 2011

UK immigration restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians extended to 2013

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UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has announced that employment restrictions placed on immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania will be extended until the end of 2013, after which time European Law demands the restrictions are lifted.

UK visa

Employment restrictions placed on immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania will be extended until the end of 2013.

The two countries joined the European Union in January 2007, allowing citizens to travel to the United Kingdom without a UK visa. Despite this, those arriving from Bulgaria and Romania to the UK are not granted the same work rights as other European Union member countries, including those from ‘A8’ countries (Polish, Latvian, Slovakian, Czechs, Hungarians, Slovenians Lithuanians and Estonians).

A report published by the Migration Advisory Committee earlier this month had recommended the restrictions be extended.
The UK immigration Minister said his decision has been made in light of a substantial increase of residents in the UK from Bulgaria and Romania resident in the UK since both countries joined the EU. “"Removing the current restrictions would cause migration to increase and cause those who currently come to the UK for temporary purposes to seek more permanent employment in the UK," the Minister said.

The decision has been welcomed by chairman of Migration Watch UK, Sir Andrew Green, who described it as “absolutely the right decision”. Mr. Green went on to say: “With 2.5 million people unemployed, it would be absurd to open our borders yet again to more unskilled workers."

Although the news will come as a disappointment for would-be workers, citizens of both nations remain permitted to register as self-employed and start businesses, or work and study on a Yellow Card visa. Most unskilled jobs in the UK however will remain off-limits. Permission to work will typically be dependent on a specific job offer and only then if the employer can demonstrate the position is skilled and a resident worker could not be found. The rights of existing authorised workers in the UK will not be affected.

The UK Visa Bureau is an independent immigration consultancy specialising in helping people prepare for their UK Ancestry Visa application.

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