A2 Countries


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Permit Free Work Catagories
Work Permit
Accession Worker Card
Registration Certificate
Highly Skilled People
Family Member Information

This section explains how to apply to work in the United Kingdom if you are a Bulgarian or Romanian national.

There are two stages to applying for work authorisation. Your employer must apply for a work permit, unless it is in one of the categories listed below. Once your employer has applied for the work permit and it has been approved, the Uk Border Agency will send you a letter of approval. When you have received this letter, you must apply for an accession worker card (see below).

Permit Free Work Catagories

  • airport based operational ground staff of an overseas airline; and
  • au pair placements; and
  • domestic workers in a private household; and
  • ministers of religion, missionaries or members of a religious order; and
  • overseas government employment; and
  • postgraduate doctors, dentists and trainee general practitioners; and
  • private servants in a diplomatic household; and
  • representatives of an overseas newspaper; news agency or broadcasting agency; and
  • sole representatives; and
  • teachers or language assistants on an approved exchange scheme; and
  • overseas qualified nurses coming for a period of supervised practice.
  • Work permit

    To apply for a work permit, your employer will need to look at the work permits section of the Uk Border Agency website and apply using the appropriate form(s). The employer must read the relevant guidance before applying. The qualifying criteria published in this guidance must be followed in order to apply for a letter of approval to employ Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to work in the United Kingdom. However, some aspects of the work permit arrangements are not relevant to Bulgarian and Romanian nationals:

  • Bulgarian and Romanian nationals will cease to be subject to immigration control. They will no longer require permission to stay in the United Kingdom, and we will therefore no longer issue multiple entry work permits for them.
  • United Kingdom employers are not required to inform the agency of a technical change of employment.
  • An accession worker card will be valid for as long as the Bulgarian or Romanian worker remains in the employment for which the card has been issued. United Kingdom employers will not therefore need to seek an extension of the initial approval under the work permit arrangements.
  • There will be no restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals switching from one employment category into another employment category while in the United Kingdom. (However, if an individual changes jobs, their new employer must apply for another letter of approval from us and the individual must apply for a new accession worker card.)
  • There are no restrictions on Bulgarian or Romanian nationals changing their status in the United Kingdom from a worker to a student, a self-employed person or a self-sufficient person.
  • For applications under the student internships and sectors-based scheme, there is no requirement for Bulgarian or Romanian nationals to be out of the country at the time of an application.
  • Accession worker card

    To apply for an accession worker card, you should use application form BR3.

    If you require an accession worker card and have obtained an offer of employment before you come to the United Kingdom, you can apply for the document from outside the United Kingdom.

    Registration certificate

    To apply for a registration certificate, you should use application form BR1. You can apply for a registration certificate if you are in the United Kingdom as a self-employed person, a student or a self-sufficient person. If you are exempt from worker authorisation, you can apply for a registration certificate as a worker or jobseeker.

    The UK Border Agency can only consider an application for a registration certificate if you are already in the United Kingdom.

    Highly skilled people

    To apply for a registration certificate as a highly skilled person you should use form BR2. You will need to demonstrate that you meet certain requirements in order to obtain a registration certificate on this basis.

    To qualify as a highly skilled person, you must score enough points under the points assessment used for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme. This programme is now available only to nationals of Bulgaria and Romania.

    Points are awarded based on your age, level of qualifications and previous earnings. You may also qualify on the basis of a qualification awarded in the United Kingdom by a recognised body.

    For more information, see Points assessment for highly skilled people.

    Bulgarian and Romanian national and family member registration certificate

    Family members of an EEA national who is not an accession national (that is, not a national of the countries that joined the European Union in 2004 or 2007) can apply for a registration certificate using form EEA1. You can find out more and download the form on the Applying under European law page of the UK Border Agency website.

    For Bulgarian or Romanian family members of a person who holds an accession worker card, please see the information below on the family member registration certificate.

    Accession worker card for an authorised family member

    To apply for an accession worker card as an authorised family member, you should use application form BR4.

    Residence card for family members

    If you have a registration certificate and you have family members who are not EEA nationals, they may apply for a residence card on application form BR5.

    Family Member Information

    Family member residence stamp

    If you have got an accession worker card and you have family members who are not EEA nationals, they may apply for a family member residence stamp on form BR6.

    Family member registration certificate

    If you are applying for a registration certificate as a family member of a person registered under the worker registration scheme, you should use application form BR7.

    If you are applying as a Romanian or Bulgarian family member of someone who holds an accession worker card, you should use application form BR1.

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