Accession States: EU8 Countries (Part 1 of 3)
Accession States: EU8 Countries (Part 1 of 3)

Accession States: EU8 Countries: In my previous overview blog post and video I’ve explained that there were three accession member states waves in the UK.

If you are an EEA national from one of the Accession states or a family member of such an EEA national, it is absolutely crucial for you to make sure that you understand the rules behind the acceptance of these Accession states into the UK. This is particularly important when you make your Permanent Residence application. This is because if you have not complied with all the rules the UKVI will disregard the transitional period of time for the purposes of making your Permanent Residence Application. Tiny details like this do make a difference between allowing and refusing permanent residence applications.

Today I’ll explain the rules about the 1st wave of Accessions states EU8.

On 1 May 2004 a group of Eastern European nations joined the European Union (EU).

These comprised of citizens from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. When these ‘EU8’ countries joined, the UK introduced restrictions on their nationals’ ability to work in the UK. These lasted until 30 April 2011. The restrictions meant that in order to work lawfully in the UK, EU8 nationals had to register their employment under the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS). Once they had completed a continuous 12 months period of employment under the scheme, they could work freely and no longer needed authorisation from the Home Office in order to take up a post.


If you are an EU8 national and claim to have acquired permanent residence by relying on any period of employment between 1 May 2004 to 30 April 2011, you will need to show that:

  • your employment during that period was registered under the WRS and therefore it is lawful; or
  • you were exempt from the requirements of the WRS during that period of employment.

If you rely on employment that does not come under either of the conditions above, it will be deemed as unauthorised. For this reason it will not be counted towards the 5-year qualifying period you will need to acquire permanent residence.


You would be exempt from the WRC requirements if you were:

  • self-employed
  • students
  • if you were working legally in the UK on 30 April 2004 and continued in your employment
  • you will also be exempt if you were in continuous employment. This should be for a period of at least 12 months. It should fall partly or wholly on or after 30 April 2004
  • if you had left to enter on the SAWS scheme (Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme ( SAWS ). In order to qualify, you need to prove that you got your leave under SAWS before 1 May 2004. Also you need to prove that you started working in the UK under the SAWS scheme on or after 1 May 2004; and finally
  • if were providing services in the UK on behalf of an employer. This is provided your employer was not established in the UK.
Accession States: EU8 Countries (Part 1 of 3)