Work permits restrictions extended for certain nationalities

23 Nov 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The restrictions on UK work permits and access to the British labour market have been extended for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals.

Damian Green, the UK immigration minister, confirmed that the controls that are currently in place will remain in situ until the end of 2013.

At the moment, Romanians and Bulgarians require explicit permission from the UK Border Agency before they are permitted to undertake work in the UK. This does not apply to their European counterparts from other countries in the region.

Permission to work is normally only given to a Romanian or Bulgarian worker when the individual already has a specific job offer for skilled employment for which the employer has been unable to find a suitably qualified resident worker.

According to Mr Green, extending the controls will “make sure migration benefits the uK and does not adversely impact on our labour market”.

He added: “The Migration Advisory Committee has made a clear case for extending the existing restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians. This government has also made clear that we will always introduce transitional controls on all new EU member states as a matter of course.”

The news comes amid a wide reformation of the UK immigration system, which has already included an annual limit on work permits and new tougher rules for students in a bid to reduce net migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands.

It is hoped that policies such as this will help to tackle the country's growing unemployment problem, encouraging employers to take on British workers for as many positions as possible.