03 June 2013

With no apparent fanfares or wide-spread publicity, Croatia is set to join the European Union on 1 July 2013. What might this mean for UK employers?

Croatia's accession to the EU means that its citizens will be able to enter and remain (but not work) in the UK without permission for up to three months. However, the government is proposing a five year transitional arrangement to restrict levels of Croatian immigration.

The current draft arrangements will require Croatian nationals to obtain a certificate of sponsorship from their future employer before the UK Border Agency (UKBA) grants them permission to work. A UK employer will only be able to issue a Croatian national with a certificate of sponsorship if the role is sufficiently highly skilled and well paid. Although the proposed transitional arrangements represent a slight softening of the current requirements under the points-based system for Croatians, they are nonetheless aimed at restricting a surge of low-skilled labour into the UK.

The government is due to release guidance about the transitional legislation prior to its introduction in July which should help employers understand how they may be able to employ Croatians. In the meantime, you should ensure that your recruitment document-checking procedures are reviewed in light of the proposed changes.

If you would like any further information on immigration or employment law issues, please contact Roger Bull.

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Roger Bull

Roger Bull Managing Partner

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