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Croatia-trained nurses and midwives


This immigration guide covers the requirements for obtaining permission to work in the UK for Croatia-trained nurses or midwives.

Working in the UK

In 2013 Croatian nationals became EEA nationals and free to enter the UK without a visa. However unless exempt from work authorisation they are required to obtain permission to work before they can take up employment in the UK.

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Obtaining permission to work in the UK

To obtain permission to work you will need to apply for a registration certificate.

There are three types depending on your circumstances:

  • Yellow registration certificates - for those working as self-employed in the UK, and those who are studying and wish to work in addition to their studies.
  • Blue registration certificates - for those who are ‘highly skilled’ (i.e. hold a relevant UK qualification).
  • Purple registration certificates - for those working for a licensed sponsor/employer. To be eligible to apply you must have a licensed sponsor and a valid Certificate of Sponsorship. Applications should be made before coming to the UK, although because you can move and reside freely in any EU member state, you can also make your application within the UK.

You can work in jobs which are skilled to National Qualifications Framework (NQF) Level 4 and above. There is no maintenance requirement when applying for worker authorisation.

Once you have completed 12 months legal and continuous employment in the UK, you may become exempt from worker authorisation and will no longer require permission to work.

There is usually a fee of £65 for applications. Application forms and guidance are available on the UKVI website.

Please note that employers will still need to see your passport or identity card as proof of your nationality.

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Exemptions from work authorisation

You will be exempt from applying for a registration certificate if you:

  • were working legally in the UK without restrictions on or before 30 June 2013
  • were given a UK visa or work permit before 1 July 2013 which is still valid
  • have been working in the UK for a continuous period of 12 months ending on or after 30 June 2013
  • work for an EU company which does not usually operate in the UK
  • are a permanent UK resident or you have dual nationality including another European Economic Area (EEA) country
  • are the partner of a British citizen
  • are the partner, child or dependent relative of an EEA citizen (other than a Croatian) or of a person settled in the UK
  • are a member of a diplomatic mission in the UK
  • were granted a blue registration certificate that says you are highly skilled, e.g. because you hold a degree.
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Your family members

Certain family members can apply to join you in the UK and work depending on their nationality and your circumstances.

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Changing employers

You can only work in the UK for the employer specified on your registration certificate. Before starting any new employment you must request permission from the Home Office by applying for a new registration certificate, unless you are exempt.

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Applying for permanent residence

Generally under European law you can automatically acquire permanent residence once you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of at least 5 years and during that period you were:

  • working
  • self-employed
  • self-sufficient (and have comprehensive medical insurance)
  • studying (and have comprehensive medical insurance)
  • looking for work (if you meet certain conditions).

Before applying for permanent residence in the UK, you should check that you meet the relevant conditions and have the right evidence to prove this.

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RCN support

The RCN Immigration Advice Service is here to help you. Contact us if you require our support.

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Need more advice?

Call RCN Direct on: 0345 772 6100