Worker Registration Scheme Closed

The \’A8\’ countries are:

  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia

The Worker Registration Scheme was introduced in 2004 following the accession of the ‘A8’ countries to the European Union and allowed the Government to monitor where nationals were coming into the UK labour market, the type of work they were doing and the impact they were having on the British economy. From the 1st May the UK Government can no longer apply transitional restrictions on A8 nationals therefore they will enjoy the same entitlements as other European Union nationals, however nationals from the ‘A2’ (Romanians and Bulgarians) will still have transitional restrictions placed on them.

It appears that in the future nationals from new European Union member states will not be afforded immediate access to the UK labour market as the Government will enforce the 7 year ban (as Germany did with the A8 countries back in 2004). Mr Green recently told the Daily Mail that “This Government will push for stringent controls to stop workers from new member states from being able to access our labour market – we will not repeat the mistakes of the past. ‘It is in no one’s interest to see another unplanned influx from abroad. We need to protect the interests of British workers.’

Worker Registration Scheme Figures

According to the Home Office the Worker Registration Scheme has seen a total of 1,153,765 applicants since it was opened in 2004. This figure does not represent simply the number of individuals who came to the UK and stayed indefinitely. The majority either came to the UK for a limited period of time and then returned home or came to and from the UK on multiple occasions.

  • Poland – 722,385 applicants
  • Lithuania – 124,275 applicants
  • Slovakia – 112,775 applicants
  • Latvia – 78,705 applicants
  • Hungary – 54,445 applicants
  • Czech Republic – 49,725 applicants
  • Estonia – 10,275 applicants
  • Slovenia – 1,180 applicants

Ministerial Statement on the closure of the Worker Registration Scheme

By Damian Green, the Minister of State for Immigration

My Right Honourable Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before Parliament Regulations which will have the effect of closing, on 30 April 2011, the Worker Registration Scheme for workers from those Member States from Eastern Europe that joined the EU on 1 May 2004. This means that after 30 April 2011 nationals of those countries will no longer be subject to a requirement to register their employment as a condition of working legally in the United Kingdom and will be able to work and reside in the United Kingdom on the same basis as nationals from other EU Member States.

The Worker Registration Scheme is being closed because the terms of the Treaty of Accession mean that the United Kingdom cannot apply restrictions on access to the labour market to nationals of those Member States for more than seven years from the date of accession. Those other EU Member States – that is, Germany and Austria – that have maintained such restrictions to date will also be required to lift them. The Government intends to apply transitional controls on labour market access, in accordance with the relevant Accession Treaty, to nationals of any country joining the EU in the future. This is part of the Government’s commitment to reducing net migration to the tens of thousands, alongside the steps that the Government is taking to reduce immigration from outside the EU, including new limits on numbers of workers admitted under Tiers 1 and 2 of the Points Based System and reforms to other routes of entry including students, families and marriage. Economic migration routes will remain closed to lower skilled migrants from outside the EU while UK and EU labour continues to be available to meet labour needs at this level. The UK Border Agency will be publishing guidance on its website for workers from the relevant accession Member States and for employers, clarifying their responsibilities in relation to compliance with the Worker Registration Scheme until its closure on 30 April.

Net Immigration rose by 20% in 2009

Recently it was reported that net Immigration to the United Kingdom rose by 20% in 2009 (up from 163,000 to 196,00) however the number of work related visa approvals, including Tier 1 (Highly Skilled) and Tier 2 (Skilled) of the Points Based Immigration System fell by 14%. The unexpected increase was due to a dramatic decrease in the number of UK nationals leaving the country (down 60% from 90,000 in 2008 to 36,000 in 2009) and a sharp increase in the number of students moving to the UK under Tier 4 of the Points Based System (35% increase on 2008).

Speaking on the figures Damian Green the Immigration Minister said that \”What these figures tell me is that we also need to look at the other routes by which people come into this country, maybe for education, for family reunion reasons and also, in particular, routes that lead to permanent settlement. Because hidden in these figures are two very big increases: one, of the number of students coming in, and the other, of the numbers of people settling here and gaining citizenship here.\”

Commonwealth Contractors

Commonwealth Contractors is a collection of highly skilled professionals from the Commonwealth and beyond. We partner with OISC Registered Immigration Partners capable of professionally representing a Tier 1 Visa Application / Extension and Tier 2 Licensed Consultancy & Associated Trust Partners who may be prepared, where required, to sponsor a doctor on a Tier 2 Visa (formerly UK Work Permit). Commonwealth Contractors also provides updates on UK Immigration News.

To find out more call Commonwealth Contractors now on 0330 390 9021 or Submit your Details and we will get back to you. Please be prepared to send a copy of a recent CV so that we can pass to interested partners.