The purpose of this guide is to explain how nationals of the new EU member states can live and work in the United Kingdom under the new Worker Registration Scheme.

Please note that this guide only applies to you if you are a national of one of the following countries: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia. You do not need to apply under the registration scheme if you are a Citizen of Cyprus or Malta.

Entering the UK

Upon arrival at a UK port-of-entry you will need to show your passport or identity card and go through the EU/EEA queue if arriving at a British port or airport. You may travel to the UK with your immediate family (spouse, children, dependent relatives if you are not on student status, and non-EU unmarried partners if they meet immigration regulations). If any of your family is not an EU/EEA national, then they must apply for an EEA family permit at the British Embassy in their home country before travelling to the UK.

Residence Permits

You are entitled to apply for a residence permit confirming that you have full rights of free movement within the EU if you meet the following requirements:


Worker Registration Scheme

If you are a citizen of one of the eight countries mentioned above and you intend to work in the UK, you will need to register with the Worker Registration Team at the Home Office if you start a new job in the UK on or after 1 May or if you have been working illegally in the UK before 1 May. If you are already working legally in the UK and remain in your same job then you will not need to register.

You do not have to register if you:

If you are from one of these eight Central and Eastern European EU accession countries, you will need to register under this scheme within one month of starting a new job. If you do not apply within one month of starting a job, your employment will be considered illegal after that date, and will continue to be illegal until you obtain a registration certificate. The application form should be completed and sent along with a letter from your employer confirming your employment, two passport photographs, your passport or national ID card and payment of £90. Decisions will be made on most applications within 24 hours of payment being received.

Successful applicants will receive by post a registration card and registration certificate, a copy of which will also be sent to your employer. If your application is not successful, a refusal letter will be sent to both you and your employer together with the return of your passport or ID card. If you stop working for your employer, the registration card and certificate will become invalid. If you take up a new position, then you should apply for a new registration certificate. There is no additional fee for subsequent registration certificates.

If you have more than one job, you must apply for a separate registration certificate for each employer you are working for.

Once you have worked in the UK for at least 12 months without interruption, then a registration card and certificate will no longer be required, and you will be able to apply for an EEA residence permit exercising your EU treaty rights.

The Worker Registration Scheme came into effect on 1 May 2004.

Changes to the scheme




Revised Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) application forms and guidance are now available from the Forms and Guidance section of

If you have any queries regarding this message, please contact the WRS Team on 0114 207 6022 or our Customer Contact Centre on 0114 207 4074.