Friday, December 19, 2014

Immigration Rules for Croatians Coming to the UK to Work, Study or Visit

Under the EU Accession of Croatia Immigration and Worker Authorisiation Rules, the UK Home Office has imposed a 7 year work or full free movement of labour restriction on Croatian nationals coming to live in the UK.

Croatian nationals may stay in the UK for up to 90 days before exercise their 'free movement' rights to stay under a number of immigration categories, for instance, as a worker, student or self sufficient person.

Croatians (like Romanians and Bulgarians before them) require Accession Worker Authorisation to work in the UK. Permission to work is can come in various forms such as Work Permits (Purple Registration Cards), Highly Skilled worker cards, Au Pairs and student "Yellow Card", which allow work and study when taking a vocational (work based) training course in the UK.

Purple Cards are a type of work permit issued by the Home Office to workers in jobs at NQF (National Qualifications Framework) level 4 and above. For example, you will get a Purple Card for a qualified nursing job in an NHS hospital, but not as a care worker or HCA. 

The job must also be on the National Shortage Occupations list or meet the Resident Labour Market test - in other words, the employer cannot find a suitable resident worker or EU/EEA national to fill the job vacancy.  

The employer should be licensed under Tier 2 of the points based system and must apply for your Purple Registration Certificate before you come to the UK.

You should be able to demonstrate a level of English language at B1 or above on the Council of Europe's Common European Framework for Language Learning (CEFL), although this requirement would appear to run against EU regulations?

Croatian nationals can come to the UK to set up a business and work on a self-employed basis. You do not need a yellow card to set up a business under the free movement regulations, but you should register the business with the UK tax authority (HMRC) and demonstrate that you are running a genuine business.

Once a Croatian has been living in the UK legally for 12 months they can normally apply for a Blue Registration Card, which gives them rights to remain and work in the UK.

Like Romanians and Bulgarians, many Croatians are choosing to migrate here as a student to study and work in the UK. 

Before applying for a student yellow card, students must register on an approved course (which will normally be chargeable by monthly installments) and take out comprehensive sickness insurance. A European insurance health card 'EHIC' if the stay in temporary.

London based Concept Care Solutions and training provider London Cactus College have combined to offer paid work placements in care and approved vocational courses to Croatian nationals who want to work and study in the UK.

Assistance is also offered with Yellow and Blue Card immigration paperwork, as well as finding accommodation and getting settled in London. 

Further information on the immigration process can be found on the Home Office UK Visas and Immigration website or email me if you would like to work in the UK.

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