Court of Appeal Rules The Extension Of The Worker Registration Scheme Was Unlawful

Immigration law changes

On 7th November 2017, the Court of Appeal, in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Gubeladze [2017] EWCA Civ 1751confirmed (again) that the extension of the Worker Registration Scheme from 1 May 2009 to 30 April 2011 was unlawful and incompatible with EU law. 

This ruling means EU nationals applying for an EU permanent residence Card in the wake of Brexit can no longer be denied because they failed to register under the Worker Registration Scheme between 1 May 2009 and 30 April 2011.  If your application has been refused on these grounds, it is imperative you contact our Legal 500 recommended immigration solicitors in London.

What is the Worker Registration Scheme?

1st May 2004 was a momentous day for the EU – 10 new states joined the bloc; Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.

Under Annex VIII of the Act of Accession, existing member states were given the right to limit freedom of movement from the eight large European countries for five years.  This could be extended for a further two years “in case of serious disturbances of its labour market or threat thereof and after notifying the Commission.”

The UK, therefore, introduced the Worker Registration Scheme, which it extended in April 2009 for a further two years.  To be exercising their EU rights lawfully in the UK, any person from one of the so-called A8 states had to register under the scheme before they started work.

However, the Court of Appeal has ruled that the extension was not proportionate.  The court observed that the Home Office had five years of monitoring the effect EU nationals coming from the A8 countries would have on the UK labour market.  Furthermore, the Migration Advisory Committee had clarified in a report a further two years of monitoring under an extension would bring forth little new information.

The court therefore determined:

“When that small benefit is weighed against the profound consequences for individuals such as the respondent, in this case, it is hardly surprising that the Upper Tribunal found the extension to be disproportionate” [paragraph 79].

How we can help

If your application for a permanent residence Card and/or British Citizenship has been denied, our London immigration lawyers can provide immediate assistance.  Grounds for being refused can include:

  • the applicant is not able to show they have been residing in the UK legally for five years because they did not join the Worker Registration Scheme
  • the applicant fails the ‘good character’ requirement for naturalisation for failure to register with the scheme

We can advise and represent you if you have had an application for EU permanent Residency or British Citizenship refused on these or any other grounds.  Contact our immigration solicitors immediately for the best guidance and support.

OTS Solicitors is one of the most respected immigration law firms in London and is highly ranked in the Legal 500 for immigration and Human Rights.  By making an appointment with one of our immigration solicitors, you can be assured of receiving some of the best legal advice available in the UK today. 

If you require Immigration Law advice, please phone our London office on 0203 959 9123.


Relevant People: 

For the best expert legal advice and outcome on your UK immigration application, contact OTS immigration solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or contact us online.


We are one of the UK’s top firms for immigration solicitors and civil liberties lawyers. We can advise on a broad range of immigration issues including Appeals and Refusals, Judicial Reviews, Spouse Visas, Student Visas, Work Permit Visas, Indefinite Leave to Remain, EEA Applications, Asylum and Human Rights, British Citizenship, All types of visas, Business Immigration Visas, Entrepreneur Visas and Investor Visas.

Our top immigration solicitors and lawyers are here to assist you.


Disclaimer: The information and comments on this page/site is made available free of charge and for educational and information purposes only. The information and comments do not amount to and are not intended to be adopted as legal advice to any individual or company. The use of this site should not be a substitute for specific legal advice, which we ask you to see our contact page or call our solicitors on 0203 959 9123.

By using this site you understand that there is no solicitor and client relationship between you/your company and the site owners or the firm. We make every effort to keep the published articles up-to-date and accurate, however the law changes very rapidly and the older the articles on this site, the more likely that the views in it have changed with the development of the law.