Romanian and Bulgarian nationals' rights in the UK

Romanian and Bulgarian nationals' rights in the UK

HL briefing, January 2007

On 1 January 2007 Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU. The rights and entitlements of Romanians and Bulgarians in the UK are restricted.

Employment & Benefits:

  • Romanians & Bulgarians require a work permit; either under the highly skilled migrant programme or Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme.
  • You can be self-employed, and do not need a permit, but should register with the Inland Revenue.
  • Employed Romanians and Bulgarians are probably entitled to in-work benefits in the same way as British citizens; any special conditions should be set out in your work permit.

For more detailed information, download the Home Office leaflet in English, Romanian or Bulgarian from:

Health care:

  • Romanians and Bulgarian will be covered by the reciprocal EU arrangements in the same way other EU citizens are.
  • You should not be charged for any treatment that becomes medically necessary during a temporary stay in the UK.
  • You should show your European Health Insurance Card (previously E111) to prove their entitlement.

For more detailed information, please see:

Entering the UK:

All Romanians and Bulgarians are allowed to come to the UK for up to 3 months.

Romanians and Bulgarians can in the UK longer than 3 months without a work permit if you are a) a student b) self employed c) self sufficient d) have completed 12 months continuous employment in the UK e) are married to a UK national f) are a family members of a EU citizen.

If you cannot show that you are in one of these categories, you may be breaking the law by staying here more than 3 months. You will not be entitled to any benefits.

Information about Sectors Based Scheme for Bulgarians and Romanians

This is the latest guidance from Borders and Immigration Agency


JCWI guidance for A2 Nationals

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has produced this information about people from Bulgaria and Romania (A2 nationals)


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