Worker Registration Scheme set to close

11 Mar 2011 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The UK immigration minister has announced that the Worker Registration Scheme is due to close on April 30th.

Damian Green confirmed in a written ministerial statement that the scheme, which was introduced as a transitional procedure in 2004, will come to an end.

It was was created with the A8 countries in mind. These are the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Anybody from these countries who wished to follow UK immigration procedures to work in Britain has had to register under the scheme in order to allow the UK to monitor where A8 citizens are entering the labour market, what kind of impact they are having on the economy and what type of work they are doing.

Indeed, through these statistics, the government has been able to confirm that between May 2004 and the end of 2010 a total of 1.1 million A8 nationals registered under the special UK immigration scheme.

However, under the terms of the Treaty of Accession, the transitional restrictions on A8 nationals' access to the labour market cannot be imposed by the UK for more than seven years.

As such, from May 1st 2011 A8 nationals will now be able to follow the same UK immigration procedures as other EU nationals (with the exception of Bulgarians and Romanians). They will also be able to take up the same out-of-work benefits as other EU nationals.

Mr Green added that Germany and Austria, which have maintained the restrictions to date along with the UK, will also be required to lift them this year.