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EU Students working in the UK

If you are a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you have a right to work in the UK 

Do I need to do anything before I start work in the UK?
Make sure you apply for your National Insurance number (NINO). You do not need to have received your NINO before starting work, but you must obtain one when you get a job. Find out more on our NINO webpage.

For most students, there are no further requirements and your employer should accept your passport or ID card as proof of nationality and your right to work. If you a national of Croatia, however, you must obtain authorisation from UK Visas and Immigration (The Home Office) before you begin work in the UK.

Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

Do I need to register to work in the UK?

As of 1st January 2014 Bulgarian and Romanian students no longer require work authorisation (the "yellow card") to work in the UK. 

Croatian nationals

As Croatia joined the European Union on 1st July 2013 Croatian nationals have restricted access to the UK labour market.  Croation nationals are not subject to immigation control and no longer require leave to enter or remain in the UK but they have to obtain authorisation to work in the UK.  Croatian students in the UK need to apply for a worker registration card (known as a "yellow card") to be able to work part-time during their studies (20 hours per week during term time) and undertake a work placement that is part of their course. 

How do I apply for the yellow card?

Applications for the registration certificate (yellow card) must be made using form CR1, available on this webpage. You can apply by post or in person.  Please fill in your form in pencil then book an appointment to see an International Student Adviser, who will check your application and documents.

Please visit this webpage for more information about applying for the registration certificate.   

What about my Placement year?

If you are taking a work placement as part of your studies at Aston, you will still need to apply for a yellow card before you start your placement. Please plan well ahead to avoid delaying the start of your placement while waiting for your card to arrive.  As of December 2013 it was taking the Home Office 6-9 months to process work authorisation applications for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals but it is not clear how long it will take for Croatian nationals.  Employers may ask to see your yellow card before making you a placement offer, so apply during the first year of your course to make sure you don't miss out.

Can I work after my course is finished?


If, in the last 12 months, you have successfully completed either a recognised UK Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, PhD or equivalent postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma in any subject, you can apply for a registration certificate as a Highly Skilled person ("Blue card"). You'll need to apply using form CR2.  Please read through the application form.

The Blue registration certificate indicates that you can work in the UK without restrictions.

If you hold a Yellow registration certificate from your time as a student, you can work full time for 4 months from the official end date of your course. If you need any help explaining this to your employer, please speak with an adviser at The Hub Advice Zone.

Last checked and updated 27 February 2014 LB

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