Blue Card | Yellow Card | Purple Card | Residence Cards | Indefinite Leave to Remain | British Citizenship

 Registration certificates

As a Romanian or Bulgarian national you are now able to move and reside freely in any Member State of the EU. You do not require leave to enter or remain to reside legally in the United Kingdom. You will have a right of residence in any EU Member State for the first 3 months of residence on an unrestricted basis and you can remain legally resident in that state as long as you wish, providing you are exercising a treaty right as a student, a self-employed person, or if you are self-sufficient. You will not have an automatic right to reside as a worker in the United Kingdom (unless you are exempt from work authorisation requirements).

 Types of Documents

If you want to live or work in the UK, or to remain for more than three months, you may qualify for the issue of a specific type of registration certificate or accession worker card depending on your circumstances. Your family members may also qualify for the issue of a registration certificate or an accession worker card or, if they are non-EEA nationals, a residence card. A description of each of these documents is outlined below.

 1. Blue registration certificate

These certificates indicate that the holder can work in the UK without restrictions. Holders of a blue registration certificate can include highly skilled migrants and Romanian/Bulgarian spouses or civil partners of a UK national or a person settled in the UK. Blue Registration Certificates can also be issued to other Romanian and Bulgarian nationals who are exempt from the requirement to obtain an Accession Worker Card.

 2. Yellow registration certificate

These certificates are issued to those Romanians and Bulgarians exercising treaty rights as self employed, self sufficient or student. These certificates indicate that the holder has limited access to the labour market and will state the manner in which the holder is exercising a treaty right in any one of the available categories.

 3. Purple Work Card (Accession Worker Cards)

These are issued to Romanian and Bulgarian nationals who wish to work in the UK but are subject to work authorization.

 4. Residence Cards

These can only be issued to your family members if they are non EEA nationals. They confirm the holder´s right of residence under European law.

 5. Permanent Residence

Under the immigration rules, different categories of people may quality for Indefinite leave to remain. However, under the rules applicable to the European nationals in the UK, permanent residence may be obtained, which is an equivalent of Indefinite leave to remain.

To obtain a permanent residence, you must have exercised Treaty Rights for 5 years and one year after you can apply for Naturalization to become a British national.

The European and foreign dependents can also apply for permanent residence but must show that they live with the principal applicant for the duration of the 5 year period.

It is the case also that children born in the UK will qualify, after the parent(s) permanent residence, to become British, while those born outside the UK would have to qualify differently.

 6. British Citizenship

There are few ways of acquiring British citizenship; and it is also important to note that although British citizenship can be acquired by birth, not all children born in the UK are British citizens. Some people may also have to either Register as British or Naturalize to become British.

British citizenship can, therefore, be acquired in the following ways:


The legal sources of British Citizenship are contained in the British Nationality Act of 1981 which abolished citizenship by birth in the UK. Children born in the UK after commencement of this Act, will only become British citizen if at least one of the their parents is British or settled in the UK. From 1st July 2006, children can become British through their father even if he is not married to their mother.


Registration as of right will apply to:

  • A child born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983, who is not British citizen at birth but one of whose parent(s) later becomes a British citizen or becomes settled in the UK.
  • A child born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983 who is not a British citizen at birth, but who lived continuously in the UK for 10 years with an absence of not more that 90 days in any year (if any).
  • A child born outside the UK on or after 1 January 1983 by parents who are themselves British citizen by descent.
  • Other applicants:

  • There are other categories of applicants, information and criteria for which can be found on the Home Office web site.


    An applicant under this category must:

  • be 18 years of age or over;
  • be of a sound mind;
  • be of a good character;
  • be married to a British citizen up until the date of application;
  • at the date of application, be resident in the UK and should not be subject to any time limit;
  • meet the “ 3 year residence” requirement;
  • pass Life in the UK test
  • Other applicants:

  • be 18 years of age or over;
  • be of a sound mind;
  • be of a good character;
  • intend to live in the UK;
  • not be subject to any time limit on his leave in the UK in the last 12 months prior to the date of application;
  • meet the “ 5 year residence” requirement;
  • pass Life in the UK test
  •  Important points to note

    Good Character Requirement:

    There should be two British referees to confirm that they know the applicant for the past 3 years and one of them should be a professional; i.e. Solicitor, Doctor, Dentist, Architect, Teacher, etc.

    Criminal Records Generally:

    a person who has been convicted of a criminal offence cannot be regarded as a person of good character; therefore, all applicants must give full details of all criminal convictions, except those which may be regarded as “spent”.

    Bad Associates:

    Applicants with no convictions, but who are strongly suspected of engaging in crime or are known associates of criminals, will normally be refused. Although financial irresponsibility, serious insolvency or bankruptcy, commercial malpractice, etc. might bring about a refusal; financial incompetence, unemployment or receipt of social security benefits, defects of temperament, etc. are not in themselves sufficient to justify a refusal.