We thought it was important to discuss Croatian migrant workers as an addendum to the previous blog on seafarers and offshore workers. In recent years Eastern Europe has become an increasingly large supplier of seafarers with large numbers coming from Latvia, the Ukraine and Croatia. However as noted in our blog article on July 13 ‘the Home Office have closed the door on many new work visa applicants working as officers or employees on ships and hovercraft in UK Territorial Waters’. This is because the Code of Practice for Ship and Hovercraft Officers no longer meets the skill level for new Tier 2 applications.
There may however be “land ahoy!” for Croatian nationals, if you’ll pardon the pun. Hidden away in a Parliamentary Note on the upcoming Croatia Accession Bill are a couple of paragraphs that state the following:
Croatian citizens will acquire EU citizenship – which entails free movement rights – on 1 July 2013 when Croatia joins the EU. But the Croatia accession treaty, like the last two EU accession treaties, establishes a seven-year transitional period during which the UK can choose whether or not to allow Croatians to work freely in the UK. The UK government will be introducing transitional controls on immigration from Croatia through secondary legislation, “based on the likely volume and impact of migration from Croatia”. These restrictions are likely to match the controls placed on Bulgarians and Romanians when their countries joined the EU.
What this means is that from July 2013 Croatians will be able to enter the UK outside the Points Based System. We will have to wait for the outcome of the bill in Parliament however in brief if the same rules are applied to Croatia once it joins the EU then that’s good news for Croatian seafarers as the rules for Romanians and Bulgarians grant them more options to work in the UK than migrants under the points based system.
Keep checking our blog and webinars where we will be following the progress of this Bill and all other important legislation relating to UK immigration. In the meantime if any of the above applies to you or you just want more information give us a call or drop us an email. We’re here to help!