Worker Registration Scheme closed from 1 May 2011

Immigration Minister Damian Green this week released a Ministerial Statement announcing the closure of the Worker Registration Scheme from the 30th of April 2011.

“This is obviously great news for members of the A8 countries, particularly if they have family members wanting to join them in the UK as family permits will also no longer apply” says Robyn Cory of 1st Contact Visas.

According to the Worker Registration Scheme, A8 nationals wanting to live and work for an employer in the UK were required to register under the WRS and would have to work for 12 consecutive months before being free from any restrictions.

The Worker Registration Scheme was introduced in 2004 when 8 countries (known as the A8 countries) joined the EU. These countries are the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

This scheme has allowed the UK government to monitor the effects of A8 nationals on the UK economy and labour market; the government was able to see who was coming in from A8 countries and what type of work they were doing.

It is estimated that around 1.1 million A8 nationals registered under the scheme between May 2004 and 1 January 2011. But under the terms of the Treaty of Accession, no country may apply transitional restrictions on A8 nationals’ access to the labour market for more than 7 years. Like the UK, Germany and Austria will also have to scrap their restrictions.

From the 1st of May 2011, A8 nationals will have the same access to the UK labour market as other EU nationals and enjoy the same benefits. The exception is still Bulgaria and Romania who only joined the EU on 1 January 2007.

For any UK visa advice or information, please visit or call 0808 141 5508