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The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has announced that it is expected that Croatia will join the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2013. It has stated its commitment to applying transitional restrictions on labour market access to nationals of any future Member States of the EU as a matter of course and therefore restrictions will be applied to nationals of Croatia. On 18 October 2012 it published a Statement of Intent with regard to the transitional arrangements which are proposed governing Croatian nationals’ access to the labour market. In summary:-
The 12 month rule will apply so that work restrictions fall away after continuous employment of 12 months. For Croatians who are legally working in the UK on the date of accession and have done so for a continuous period of at least 12 months, they will no longer be subject to work restrictions. The same will apply to those who work legally for an uninterrupted period of 12 months falling partly or wholly after the date of accession.
Furthermore, workers posted to the UK from a business established in another member state will not be subject to restrictions, nor will those Croatians wishing to establish a business in the UK.
Finally, graduates will be able to obtain a registration certificate confirming free access to the labour market provided they meet the criteria for a grant of leave under the previous Tier 1 (Post Study) category.
For more information, please contact a member of the immigration team.
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