The UK Opens its Doors to Romania & Bulgaria

New Changes to UK Immigration

The UK has been part of the European Union since the formation of the European Union Treaty in 1993. Since then, it has only dipped its toe into the European pool; it has not converted to the Euro currency and has retained its restrictions on immigration and the routes to residency in the UK. In 2004 it allowed people from many Eastern European countries to reside in the UK to work and now as of 1 January it is going to allow Bulgarians and Romanians into Britain to gain employment too.

Originally there were some restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians. They were only legally allowed to enter the country to work if they had a job offer from a UK employer prior to their arrival. Another limitation was implemented regarding the nature of the work they could undertake. It had to be proven that the immigrant had been offered a job for which there was a genuine shortage of British, appropriately skilled people.  Now it is possible for Bulgarians and Romanians to gain residency the same way a Brit could in France or Germany.

The new effects will take place in the New Year following an agreement made by the previous Labour Government. They predict that the widening of the gates will be good for the economy and will add to the UK’s diversity. The UK has always had firm rules surrounding who is able to gain residency in the country and this shows a move towards a more liberal European Union. Up to this point, many refugees from Bulgaria and Romania have been asked to leave the country, and now this will not be the case. They will be able to start a new life. The government predicts that there will not be a huge influx of immigrants from these two countries and that they are more likely to move to countries such as Germany, where they already have large Bulgarian and Romanian communities. These changes are all amidst the attempts at creating a more unified Europe.

The UK is an incredibly multicultural country as it is a popular destination for people looking to find a good job and to gain a better quality of living. Despite the job market still being reasonably turbulent it continues to attract those who find it hard to find a job in their own country or who would like to be able to earn more money with the chance of career progression. As of January we will be able to see the effects of the change in regulations and whether the government’s predictions of approximately 50,000 new immigrants per year entering the UK is in fact correct, or whether the law change means immigration will rocket.


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