UK Work Advice for Romanian and Bulgarian Students

Nationals of Bulgaria and Romania have the right of free travel in the UK for up to three months. However, there are still restrictions on the right to work in the UK, which will continue until the end of 2013.

For general advice on UK employment, please visit our ‘Finding Work’ page.

If you wish to work in the UK while studying, you must obtain a registration certificate called a Yellow Card. Employers will ask to see this berfore they will offer you a job. To apply for the Yellow Card:

  1. Download and complete the UKBA Application Form BR1.
  2. Include: 2 passport photos.
  3. Add:
    • Your passport.
    • A student status letter – available from the College Reception.
    • Support funds available – to prove you will not be working for more than the allowed time.
    • CSI – Comprehensive Sickness Insurance.
  4. Send the application, pictures, passport and student status letter to the address on the form.

Your Rights as a Student:

  • You are entitled to work part time for a maximum of 20 hours per week during term time and full time during the holidays.
  • When you have been working part time for at least 12 continuous months, you will no longer be restricted and will be able to apply for a Blue Card for residence and full rights to work (no restriction on the number of hours or employer).
  • Your spouse or other family member is allowed to work without any restrictions for as long as you are a student – he/she will need to apply for a Blue Card using a BR1 application form. After working for 12 months with this status, the family member can apply for exemption from work authorisation in his/her own right (unrelated to your status). For this however, he/she will need to have worked for the 12 months as an employee not as a self-employed person.


  1. if your student status changes (i.e. you stop attending the course), your legal work status changes as well and your right to work is withdrawn, even if you have already obtained a Yellow Card and a National Insurance Number.
  2. The UKBA only considers applications for a yellow card for student registration certificates if you are already in the UK.

Once you have obtained the Yellow Card, you can start working.
Further advice for Romanian and Bulgarian students is available in this UKBA pdf.

8 Responses to “UK Work Advice for Romanian and Bulgarian Students”

  1. Marian Fasie

    My name is Marian FASIE Optometrist from Romania and I would like to ask you one question, please!

    I will enroll as a student in January 2013 until December 2013, with an University in the UK, for one year Adaptation EU program for Optometrists and during this academic year I will take theoretical courses and clinical practice in the University Eye Clinic.

    For this specific clinical practice in the University Eye Clinic, It is considered by the Home Office to be work? Do I need a working visa such as yellow card?

    I would like to mention that this is just clinical practice (no real patients, just between students), for experience and is not salary payed.

    Please tell me if I need (or not) a working visa for this specific case. I do not seek and do not intend to work in the UK! Thank you very much!

    Yours respectfully,
    Marian FASIE.

  2. Maria

    Hello! I am Maria and I am bulgarian. I am currently a part-time student at a university and I wish to start work. I want to apply for a job with more than 20 hours a week. Is it alright to do so since I am only attending one lecture this year as I am repeating one module?

  3. Vasile

    Hello. I need some help if it’s possible . I have 5 years in the UK and I want to work in full-time employment but the company can’t take me because of the yellow card. What do I have to do to go in the right place? Thank you so much for your time to reply back. Have a good day.

  4. GabrielaO

    Good evening and happy new year!

    I have a question and I wonder if you can help me.
    Both me and my boyfriend we are from Romania but we moved in England 7 months ago.
    I have obtained a Yellow Card as a studend and we are planning to get married here, in England soon.
    My boyfriend is a student as well, and he is unemployed.My questions is, in these conditions, can my future husband apply to obtain a Blue Card ? If so, what is the procedure?

    Thank you so much for your time and I would appreciate your answer.
    Gabriela O.