Highly skilled Individuals: rules for Bulgarians and Romanians


Chapter 2b of the guide: 'Living and Working in the UK for A2 nationals'



As an A2 national, if you are a Bulgarian or Romanian citizen and want to work in the UK, you will need to obtain permission to work before starting any employment, unless you are exempt from the requirement to do so.

You will not need authorisation to work if you qualify as a highly skilled individual.

If you meet the highly skilled migrant person criteria, you will need to apply for a Blue Registration Certificate confirming that the holder can work in the UK without restrictions to prove your status, if challenged.

To qualify as a highly skilled person, you must score enough points under the points assessment used for the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (available only to Romanian and Bulgarian nationals), the International Graduates Scheme and the Scottish Graduates Scheme.

To pass the points-based assessment, you need to score at least 75 points across the following categories:

• the Master in Business Administration (MBA) provision;
• qualifications;
• previous earnings;
• United Kingdom experience; and
• age.

It is not a requirement to be present in the UK at the time of the application.

The MBA provision

You will be awarded 75 points if you meet the evidence requirements in this category.

To meet the requirements, you must have graduated from an MBA or executive MBA (EMBA) course at an eligible institution. You are not eligible to apply under this provision until you have completed your course and graduated.

There are currently 50 eligible institutions. The institution you attended must have been included on this list at the time you graduated.

This provision was introduced on 2 December 2004. If you graduated before this date you cannot apply under this provision.

Check the current list of eligible institutions.


You can be awarded a maximum of 50 points under this category. If you hold more than one qualification listed in this section, you may only be awarded points for the highest-level qualification for which you have provided sufficient evidence.

The points awarded in this category are:

• PhD – 50 points
• Master's – 35 points

• Bachelor's – 30 points

Qualifications have to meet the standard of United Kingdom bachelor's, master's or PhD (as verified by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) database.

Vocational and professional qualifications can be included if you provide evidence to show that the qualification is equivalent to the relevant United Kingdom academic level.

See the UK NARIC website for more information on comparing your qualifications with academic levels in the United Kingdom.

Previous earnings

You can be awarded a maximum of 45 points under this category.

Where the evidence requirements are met, points may be awarded for your earnings before tax over a period of up to 12 consecutive months in the last 15 months.

The number of points you are awarded will depend on your earnings and the country in which you were living and working. If you have lived and worked in more than one country during the 12-month period we will calculate what your earnings in the country where you have spent most time would have been if you had worked there for the total period in which you have been working.

If you have been unable to earn income for the last 12 to 15 months because you were undertaking full-time study, your income for a 12-month period in the 15 months immediately before you became a full-time student will be considered.

United Kingdom experience

You can be awarded a maximum of 5 points under this category. You can claim these points if you have either:

• scored points under the previous earnings category and these earnings were in the United Kingdom; or

• gained a degree-level qualification or higher in the United Kingdom in the last five years; or

• gained a degree-level qualification or higher and spent at least one full academic year at a United Kingdom-based overseas educational institution in the last 5 years.

The age assessment

You can be awarded a maximum of 20 points in this category. You may be awarded points based on your age at the time of your application.

Where the evidence requirements are met, the points awarded in this category are:

• Aged 27 or under – 20 points
• Aged 28 or 29 – 10 points

• Aged 30 or 31 – 5 points
• Aged 32 and over – 0 points.


If you qualify as a highly skilled individual, you will be issued a ‘blue ‘registration certificate confirming that there are no restrictions on you taking employment in the UK.

To apply for a registration certificate as a highly skilled person, you should use form BR2 (registration certificate as a highly skilled individual), which you can download from the UKBA website.

The documents required to support your application are set out in this UKBA list .

If you have family members and they are nationals of a member state of the EEA, you may include them in your application.

The UKBA cannot provide written confirmation that your application has been received. It is best for you to send your documents by recorded or special delivery and to use the 'track and trace' facility on the Royal Mail website.

* If you are a postgraduate doctor, dentist or general practitioner taking up employment in a training position, you will be able to work by applying for an Accession Worker Card.


Read this guide in Romanian on Ziarul Romanesc:

Personal cu înaltă calificare: reguli pentru români şi bulgari

by Federica Gaida

June 2010 ©All rights reserved

Read the other chapters:
Chapter 1: Right of Residence in the UK


Disclaimer: The above article is meant to be relied upon as an informative article and in no way constitutes legal advice. Information is offered for general information purposes only, based on the current law when the information was first displayed on this website.

 You should always seek advice from an appropriately qualified solicitor on any specific legal enquiry. 


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