The basic rule in the UK is that anyone who comes to work in the UK must register for a National Insurance number and pay Class 1 contributions.
Prior to 1 January 2007, most Bulgarians and Romanians working in the UK were subject to UK National Insurance. Some Romanians and Bulgarians were able to qualify to be exempt for up to 52 weeks under special rules that apply to certain people who do not normally live or work here and meet certain conditions:
Coming to the UK – Employees not from the European Economic Area, Switzerland or Social Security Agreement Countries
These 52 week exemptions will cease to be available to Bulgarian and Romanian employees paid on or after 1 January 2007. This is because from 1 January 2007, Bulgarians and Romanians will be subject to the rules for people from the European Economic Area:
Coming to the UK from European Economic Area Countries
The basic rule in the UK is that anyone who comes to work in the UK must register for a National Insurance number and pay contributions. You can find out how to do this on our page for the Self Employed.
After 1 January 2007, Romanians and Bulgarians are subject to the rules that apply in the European Economic Area.
If you are normally in business for yourself elsewhere in the EEA and you carry on your business for a time in the UK, after 1 January you may be able to qualify for a Form E101 exempting you from UK contributions and enabling you to continue paying contributions in the issuing Member State.
The country where you are normally in business will advise you whether you can be issued with an E101.
If you do not hold an E101 you will be required to register for a National Insurance number and pay National Insurance contributions in the UK, as soon as you start work, on the same basis as a person who normally lives and works here.