Post Accession Q/A


1. Bulgarian and Romanian Accession 
What is accession?
Accession is the term used when a Country joins the European Union (EU). Bulgaria and Romania’s accession to the EU happens on 1 January 2007

What is going to change?
When Bulgaria and Romania become part of the EU, they also become European Economic Area (EEA) countries. EEA countries have agreed to be an area of free movement. This means people from these countries are not subject to immigration controls in each other countries.
This means that no visas will be required to come to the UK. Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will go through the same controls as British citizens when entering and can enter on proving their nationality. Their passports are not stamped. 

What is not going to change?
Romanian and Bulgarian nationals will still need permission from the Home Office to take up work. They are not being given a right to work in the United Kingdom automatically.

Is this different to the previous EU accession in 2004? Why?
Yes. In 2004 workers from new member states obtained full access to UK labour market. This is not the case on this occasion. We are still looking closely into the impact of 2004 accession and until this has been fully considered we are adopting a gradual approach on labour market access to minimise any further impact.

How long will these arrangements last?
The Accession treaty allows us to maintain controls on access to our labour market for up to seven years. The arrangements will be reviewed on a regular basis. It is probable initial arrangements will be reviewed after a year.

2. Coming to UK and getting documents Do I need a visa?

Following accession you will not need a visa to come to the United Kingdom.

Do I need a document confirming my status?
This will depend on what you are doing and if you want to work. If you want to work you must get a worker accession card or a registration certificate that provides access to the labour market.  You do not need a document if you don’t want to work.

3. Self-employed persons Can a Bulgarian / Romanian national be self-employed in UK following accession?

Yes – You will have a right of establishment under EU law. This will allow you to be self-employed. This right does not extend to working as an employee.

4. Students Can I study?
Yes – you will have a right to come to UK and reside here as a student if engaged in a full-time course of study following accession. You do not need Home Office permission to be a student.

If I’m a student will I be able to work?
Yes, but in order to work you must first obtain a registration certificate. This will confirm we accept you are an EEA national exercising a treaty right as a student and will provide you with permission to work for up to 20 hours a week. 
Details on how to apply for this registration certificate will be posted on our website shortly. Applications cannot be made until 1 January 2007. Before accession if you wish to be a student in the United Kingdom you must continue to seek leave to remain on that basis.

I’m a student but don’t want to work, do I need a “Student registration Certificate?”
No – You do not need the registration certificate to have a right of residence as a student. You only need the document if you want to work part-time whilst studying.

5. Workers

Can I work without permission?
No – You must have permission, either by means of a registration certificate providing access to the labour market, a worker authorisation document or on the basis of leave to remain given prior to accession.

What happens if I work illegally?
It will be a criminal offence to work illegally, both you and your employer could be taken to court.

How do I get permission to work?
An employer will either need to obtain a work permit for you and if this is approved you can obtain a worker authorisation document; or, in certain circumstances, you will able to apply for the worker authorisation document for a specific job without a work permit. 
Details of how to apply for a worker authorisation document will be posted on the Home Office website.
If studying and wanting to work you must seek a registration certificate which will confirm you are a student. This will give you permission to work for up to 20 hours a week.
If you are highly skilled, have a community right as a worker or are married to a British citizen you can obtain a registration certificate providing a unrestricted right to access the UK labour market.

How do I get community rights as a worker?
Anybody who has been legally employed on a continuous basis for twelve months obtains community rights as a worker. This means you have a full right to reside under EU law as a worker in a Member State and have an unrestricted right to access that Member State’s labour market.

I’ve been here on a work permit for the past two years. Do I need to do anything?
No – as long as you continue in your current job you need do nothing. You can seek a registration certificate confirming your unrestricted right to access UK labour market if you wish as you will have been legally employed for more than 12 months.

6. Outstanding applications 

I have made an application for leave to remain/ indefinite leave to remain to IND, but it has not been resolved. What will happen to my application?
All applications for indefinite leave to remain will be considered even if your application is not completed until after accession.
Any application for limited leave will be reviewed and you will be written to explaining your new rights and documentation will be returned at the earliest possible opportunity.

I have made an asylum application
This will still be considered as is required under 1951 convention.

I was the subject of enforcement action
Your case will be reviewed and you will be informed of whether we will still wish to pursue removal action. If we decide to not do so you will have your passport returned. No automatic permission to work will be given and if you want to work you will need to get an Accession worker card.

Post Accession Q/A in format PDF