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Accession Worker Cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

To take up non-seasonal employment in the UK, you will need to apply for an ‘Accession Worker Card’, unless:

·         you are exempt for the requirement (see above)

·         you already have a document issued before 1 January 2007 giving you leave to enter or remain in the UK, restricting your employment here to a particular employer or category of employment

 

Accession worker cards are issued for:

·         skilled jobs where suitably qualified resident labour is unavailable

·         lower skilled jobs in the food manufacturing sector (‘Sector Based Scheme’)

·         certain categories of employment for which non-EEA nationals are not currently required to obtain a work permit, e.g. sole representatives of overseas businesses, au pairs, employees of overseas governments and ministers of religion (‘permit-free categories’)

 

Most categories of employment will require your employer to apply for a work permit before you apply for an Accession worker card (‘work permit arrangements’).

A work permit is not required if your job belongs to a so-called ‘permit-free category’. In this case, you will be able to apply for a worker card directly.

In both cases, you will need an offer of employment before you are issued an Accession worker card, and you must obtain an Accession worker card before you start work.

However, you are not required to apply or obtain the card before entering the UK.

Your employment will be restricted to the job and the employer specified on the Accession worker card issued to you. It will expire if you leave your job.

If you change your job, you will need to apply for a new Accession worker card in respect of the new employment.

If you start work before the card has been issued to you, or if you undertake work other than that specified in the document, you will be working illegally: you could face imprisonment for up to 3 months or a fixed penalty of £1000.

Permit-Free Categories

If you are to be employed in the following categories of work, application for the Accession worker card will not be required from your employer, but only from you.

These categories are:

·         airport-based operational ground staff of an overseas airline

·         au pair placements

·         domestic workers in a private household

·         minister of religion, missionary or member of religious order

·         overseas government employees

·         postgraduate doctors, dentists and trainee general practitioners intending to take up a training position

·         private servants in a diplomatic household

·         representatives of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation

·         sole representatives of overseas businesses

·         teachers and language assistants on approved exchange schemes

·         overseas qualified nurses undertaking supervised practice

 

You will need to submit a completed form BR3 (accession worker card) to apply for an Accession worker card.

You can download the application form here: form BR3 .

 

Business and Commercial work permit arrangements

To take up skilled employment, you will have to apply for an accession card through the Business and Commercial work permit arrangements.

·         These arrangements allow employers in the United Kingdom to employ people from Bulgaria and Romania to fill a vacancy where there are no suitably qualified or experienced resident workers available.

·         Your employer will need to prove they cannot fill the post with a resident worker and give details of the recruitment methods they employed (generally, advertising in English appropriate to the job through the most appropriate medium).

A Business and Commercial work permit will be issued for a maximum of 5 years.

Eligibilty

 

You can make a Business and Commercial work permit application if you meet the following qualifications:

·         a United Kingdom degree level qualification; or

·         a higher national diploma (HND) level qualification, which is relevant to the post on offer; or

·         a HND level qualification, which is not relevant to the post on offer, plus one year of relevant full-time work experience at national/Scottish vocational qualification (N/SVQ) level three or above;

Or the job must need the following skills:

·         3 years full-time experience of using specialist skills gained through doing the type of job for which the permit is needed. This should be at N/SVQ level three or above.

 

You can also apply under the Business and Commercial arrangements if your post is included in the shortage occupations list.

How to apply

 

1.     Your employer must apply for a work permit, by submitting a completed form to the UKBA:

a.     form WP1 when applying for first work permits and for change of employment applications.

b.     form SR1 for sponsored researchers

c.     form PD1 for postgraduate doctors and dentists, use for new or change of employment applications.

2.     Once the application has been approved, the UKBA will send a letter of approval.

3.     Once you have received copy of this letter, you must apply for an Accession worker card, by submitting a completed form BR3 (accession worker card).

You can download the forms here: form WP1 and BR3 .

The application form will tell you what documentary evidence you will need to provide in support of your application.

Other skilled work permit arrangements

You can apply for a work permit also under other, more specific categories of skilled employment.

·         Training and Work Experience Scheme (TWES):

         form WP1, for TWES permits and for changes of employment.

         form MTI1, for Medical Training Initiative permits for medical professionals, doctors or dentists use

·         Sports and Entertainments: form WP3

·         Student Internships: form WPSI

 

Sectors Based Scheme work permit arrangements

As an unskilled worker, you can obtain a non-seasonal work permit under the Sector Based Scheme (SBS), which issues a quota of permits for lower skilled jobs in the food manufacturing industry.

·         These arrangements allow employers in the United Kingdom to fill vacancies for certain posts within the food manufacturing sector where there are no resident workers available.

·         The jobs covered by SBS refer to the specific fields of: fish processing; meat processing; mushroom processing.

·         Your employer will need to have made the job vacancy available through Jobcentre Plus/Jobcentre or Job and Employment office, and EURES.

SBS permits are issued for a maximum of 12 months.

Once you have been legally employed in the United Kingdom for a continual period of 12 months, you are allowed to apply for a registration certificate and have unrestricted access to the labour market.

Eligibilty

You can make a SBS work permit application if you meet the following qualifications:

  • you are aged between 18 and 30 at the time the application is made;
  • the post on offer is within the food manufacturing sector; and
  • The employer must show that there is a shortage of people in the UK to fill these vacancies and will normally need to advertise to show this; and
  • the quota for the work you r employer is recruiting for has not been exhausted; and
  • the post on offer is covered by the SBS; and
  • you will be working full-time (at least 30 hours per week).

 

How to apply

 

1.     Your employer must apply for a work permit, by submitting a completed application form SB1 to the UKBA:

2.     Once the application has been approved, the UKBA will send a letter of approval.

3.     Once you have received copy of this letter, you must apply for an Accession worker card, by submitting a completed form BR3 (accession worker card).

 

You can download the application form here: form SB1

The application form will tell you what documentary evidence you will need to provide in support of your application.

Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme work card

Voluntary Workers: worker authorisation not required