Since 1st January 2007, as European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, Bulgarians and Romanians have been able to move and reside freely in any Member State. They do not require leave to enter or remain to reside legally in the UK.
They have a right of residence in any Member State for their first 3 months of residence and can remain legally resident in that state as long as they wish if exercising a treaty right as a
student; a self-employed person; or if not economically active and self-sufficient. But they do not have a right to reside as a worker.
In order to work lawfully in the UK, a Romanian or Bulgarian national must apply for either a registration
certificate or an Accession Worker Card (depending on their particular circumstances) prior to starting work.
Permanent residence under EU law is a right provided by Directive 2004/38/ec to all EEA Nationals and their
family members. To be a permanent resident under EU law you must have resided in a member state, as an EEA national, exercising a treaty right, for five years. As Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU on 1 January 2007 Bulgarian and Romanian Nationals will be eligible to become permanent residents of the UK under EU law from 1 January 2012.
We expect to see application from those eligible to apply in the oncoming months.