Workers Registration Scheme

Workers Registration Scheme

The expansion of the EEA has brought many new EEA nationals to the UK who have made the UK their main homes. There are absolutely no restrictions on their freedom of movement while entering and going out of the UK. But a registration restriction is imposed on the nationals of 8 accession countries to register them within the one month of commencement of any employment. However this requirement is just for the initial 12 months of their employment and after that they would enjoy full rights of work. It should be noted that only those who wish to seek employment are required to register under this scheme while the ones who prefer to be self employed do not require to register under this scheme. There are some more exceptions to the requirement of registration that is as under:

Nationals of Accession states are required to register with the Home Office under the Worker Registration Scheme if they do NOT fall under any of the following circumstances:

  • If they are working on a self employed basis.
  • If they have been working with permission in the UK for 12 months or more.
  • If they have been working with permission in the UK for the current employer since May 2004
  • If they have got leave to enter the UK under the Immigration Act 1971 on 30th of April 2004 and the leave was not subject to condition restricting their employment.
  • If they are providing services in the UK on behalf of the overseas based employer.
  • If they are the citizens of the UK or any other EEA state (Not among the 8 accession states) or Switzerland as well.
  • If you are a family member (spouse or child under 21 or dependant) of a Swiss or EEA national (other not the 8 accession states) who is working in the UK
  • If they are family members (spouse or child under 21 or dependant) of a Swiss or EEA national who is living in the UK as a student, self employed, retired or self-sufficient person.

1. Who is required to register under the WRS?

All nationals of the 8 Accession States (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Chech, Slovek, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia) who wish to work in the UK and do not fall under any of the above mentioned circumstances must register them under this scheme within one month of the commencement of their employment in the UK.

If there is a change of circumstances of the EEA national and he falls under any of the exemptions discussed above he would no more be required to register under this scheme.

2. What Documents to Submit?

The applicant needs to provide following documents for the purpose of registering under this scheme for the first time:

  1. Original passport or identity card; and
  2. Relevant application form together with the Home Office fees of £70.
  3. A letter from the employer that should confirm the commencement of employment.
  4. Payslips, if available.

Please note that this application is just for the purposes of registration with the Home office and the applicant are not required to send any bank statements.

3. Registration Card & Registration Certificate

If the application for registration is successful following documents would be sent to the applicant:

Registration Card: This document includes your name, date of birth, nationality, your photograph and a unique reference number. The validity of the card is 12 months from the date of issuance or till such time when the EEA national is registered with the scheme.

Registration certificate. This is in the form of a letter. This authorises the applicant to work for the employer named in the application. A copy of this letter is also sent to the employer of the applicant for their retention. The validity of the certificate is till such date that the applicant leaves the employment.

4. Change of Employers

Even if the applicant changes his employer, he is required to submit a fresh application for registration and include the details of his new employment. On this occasion no additional fees need to be paid and original passport is also not required to be submitted to the Home Office. Every time the employment is changed a new registration certificate will be issued to the applicant that contains the employment details of the new employment.

5. Spouse / Children

This registration scheme also determines rights of the family members (non-EEA nationals) of the EEA national, in addition to leading the EEA nationals to enjoy full rights of work. The applicants who are required to register under this scheme have the right to invite their family to join them in the UK. If the family members are EEA nationals they would have automatic right to enter and remain in the UK without any restrictions. If they are nationals of non-EEA countries, they require leave to enter (Family permit) or leave to remain in line with the EEA national living and working in the UK.

There are separate forms available for non-EEA nationals spouses and they need to fulfil all the requisites in order to establish relationship with the EEA national by providing good documentary evidence. It can be a marriage certificate along with some supportive evidences like marriage pictures, evidence of meeting or living together for some time. Moreover the employer of the EEA national, of whom the non-EEA national is a dependant, needs to certify the employment details of the EEA national.

6. Information for Employers

The home office has given some responsibilities to the Employers who employ nationals from the accession states requiring compulsory registration under this scheme. They are required to keep a copy of the completed application forms of each of those requiring registration with the Home office. A copy of the registration certificate is also sent to the employers for their retention as proof of the legal employment. The employers may be guilty of a criminal offence under the new legislation if the worker does not make an application for registration within one month of his commencement of employment or the employer has not retained a copy of the application form. The maximum penalty for this offence is £5000. This is therefore quite important for the employers as well to realize the burden of the responsibility otherwise they might end up paying huge fines.

7. Settlement Prospects

The records of all the employments of the EEA national are kept and monitored by the Home Office before giving them full rights of work in the UK. On completion of uninterrupted 12 months of registration under this scheme, applicants can apply for resident permits that is usually given for five years duration. It should also be noted that there should not be a gap of more than one month of unemployment in the 12-month registration period and any gap of more than one month would break the continuance of the compulsory 12-month registration period. Once a resident permit is issued for five years and the applicant fulfils the requirement for four years, they become eligible to get permanent residence. There are however, certain requirements to fulfil in order to become eligible for permanent residence that we`ll discuss at some later stage.

Working without registration means working illegally that would give no benefit to the applicant or his family. It is therefore quite important to get registered under this scheme to derive full benefits from the extension of EEA.

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