MAC reports on settlement and restrictions on workers from Bulgaria and Romania

The Migration Advisory Commitee has today published a couple of reports today which contain recommendations for settlement, and a review of restrictions on access to the labour market for Bulgarian and Romanian workers.  Whilst these are just recommendations, governments almost always follow them.


The Government issued its consultation on proposals to limit settlement– the JCWI response is here . In short the MAC in its report Analysis of the Points Based System Settlement Rights of Migrants in Tier 1 and Tier 2 has reached the following conclusions and made the following recommendations which we’ve extracted from the report.

Conclusions and recommendations

37. Preventing all Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants from remaining in the UK beyond five years would have notable economic consequences in the long term and we do not recommend this. Restricting but not removing rights of Tier 1 and Tier 2 migrants to remain beyond five years will have less significant economic impacts.

38. It is critically important that policy on skills and migration is used to mitigate any adverse impacts that would otherwise occur in relation to applying economic criteria to deciding which migrants stay in the UK beyond five years, particularly in relation to those sectors or occupations most affected. Because the introduction of criteria will not have direct effect until 2016, there is some time for employers and policymakers to plan ahead.

39. We make the following recommendations:

 A simple pay level threshold is used as the primary selection criteria for deciding which Tier 2 Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) and shortage occupation route migrants can settle permanently in the UK or remain beyond five years.


 Tier 1 exceptional talent migrants will proceed to settlement after five years, subject to the initial entry arrangements for the route being rigorous and kept under close review.

 Migrants using the sportsperson route should be subject to the same pay criterion as migrants under the Tier 2 RLMT and shortage occupation routes in order to extend their stay beyond five years.

 The minimum pay threshold for remaining in the UK for beyond five years for migrants in the Tier 2 shortage occupation, RLMT, and sportsperson routes should be set at the time of entry to Tier 2. Following entry it should only be adjusted for price inflation or changes in average pay according to a set formula.

 Exceptions to the above arrangements are limited in their scope and the economic or other reasons for them are explicitly articulated by the Government.

 Policy and employer action on skills and migration is used to mitigate the adverse impacts that might otherwise occur in relation to applying economic criteria to deciding which migrants stay in the UK beyond five years, particularly in relation to those sectors or occupations most affected.

 Restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

In relation to restrictions in relation to  Bulgarian and Romanian nationals the Committee’s conclusions can be found in Review of the transitional restrictions on access of Romanian and Bulgarian nationals to the UK Labour Market. In short it takes the view that restrictions should be maintained.

5.6 Conclusions

…5.14 Regarding the question of whether maintaining existing restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals’ access to the labour market would assist in addressing the serious labour market disturbance our answer is also yes. The extent to which maintaining existing restrictions would assist in addressing any such disturbance is, however, subject to considerable uncertainty.

5.15 As we discussed in Chapter 1, our commission from the Government was to consider the possible labour market impact of maintaining or removing the current labour market restrictions on A2 nationals in the context of the current state of the UK labour market. There are other considerations, such as the impact of the current restrictions on the employment of A2 nationals who are already resident in the UK (discussed in Chapter 1) and the implications for particular sectors (discussed in Chapter 4), that the Government may wish to take into account alongside the labour market impact described above when deciding whether or not to maintain restrictions beyond 1 January 2012. Although we have discussed some of these issues in this report, they have not influenced our conclusion

About jcwi

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants is a key campaigning voice in the field of immigration, asylum and nationality law and policy. It is completely independent from government funding, remaining entirely free from government influence. View all posts by jcwi

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