Free Movement of Bulgarians and Romanians

Bulgarians and Romanians get unrestricted access to the UK’s labour market.

Tomorrow on 1 January 2014 the transitional controls restricting the rights of free movement of Bulgarians and Romanians (the ‘A2’ migrants) will expire- enabling them to have complete freedom to live and work in the UK.

Previously employers had to get  work permits for the A2 migrants who also required an ‘accession worker card’. Low-skilled A2 migrants were restricted to the agricultural and food processing sectors quotas.

Romanian and Bulgarian citizens can therefore now apply for confirmation that they have the right to live in the UK just like any other EEA or Swiss national exercising Treaty rights.

You are exercising Treaty rights if you are:

employed or self-employed; or
studying; or
economically self- sufficient; or
a jobseeker; or
retired; or
someone who ceased working in the UK owing to permanent incapacity.

As a Bulgarian or Romanian national exercising Treaty rights you can apply for ‘registration certificate’ in the UK which will confirm your right of residence in the UK under the EU law. If you have family members who want to come to the UK, you can sponsor their ‘EEA Family Permit’. In case they are already in the UK you can apply for ‘residence card’ for them.

In case you have already lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years in accordance with the EU regulations, you can apply for ‘permanent residence’ as well.

After the leading judgement in Chen (ECJ C-200/02) the parent(s) or primary carer of a self-sufficient EEA national child is entitled to reside in the UK with the sole purpose to facilitate the child in exercising his/her Treaty rights.  In case you are a carer of a Bulgarian or Romanian child exercising Treaty rights in the UK, you can  apply for ‘derivative right of residence’.

If your marriage or civil partnership with an EEA national has ended  as a consequence of death, divorce, dissolution or the EEA national’s departure from the UK, you may be eligible to apply for ‘retained right of residence’.

Lastly you can transfer all of the above immigration statuses to your passport or apply for British citizenship after the qualifying period has been completed.