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The A8 and A2 countries: what to expect?

01 June 2010

A8 and A2 nationals can apply for a registration certificate only after having completed 12 months of continuous employment in the UK. A8 countries will need to apply under the Worker Registration Scheme unless they are exempt as in the case of self-employed workers. However, the UK Government has decided that nationals of A8 countries will continue to be subject to restrictions for a period of 7 years from the date of accession.

Prior to joining the EEA on 1 January 2007, Romania and Bulgaria had Association Agreements with the UK allowing nationals of the A2 countries to work in the UK if self-employed. The rights of self-employed Romanians and Bulgarian have not been affected since joining  the EEA, but workers will need to apply for an accession worker authorisation card under The Accession (Immigration and Worker Regulations) 2006.

Thus, A2 Citizens who have not obtained a right to work through the existing Work Permit arrangements may only work legally in the UK if they can show one of the following documents: a Registration/Residence Certificate or a Registration Certificate to work as a student (for a maximum of 20 hours per week).

It is likely that the UK will vote against any future expansion of the EEA especially in the current economic climate. The most recent Migration Advisory Committee's report stated that "On balance, however, we recommend maintaining the WRS on economic grounds. This is because, if the WRS were to be ended, the labour inflow from the A8 countries would probably be a little larger than otherwise. In these disturbed times, some of the inflow of A8 workers may displace UK workers".

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Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.