Almost 8,000 Bulgarian and Romanian people registered to work in the UK in the first quarter of 2007, according to Home Office statistics.
Official figures show that between January and March 2007, 7,935 had applications granted; 5,075 were allowed to access the labour market; and 2,660 registered as self employed and 200 as self-sufficient.
Immigration minister Liam Byrne said: “While it remains too soon to evaluate the full impact of the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU, the early indications are that our policy of restricting access to the UK’s labour market is helping to ensure that only those who have something to offer the UK are allowed to work here.”
The Home Office also published figures detailing the number of individuals registering to work in the UK from the eight eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004.
The accession monitoring figures show that between January and March 2007, the number of individuals who applied to work fell by 16,000 from the previous quarter to 49,000.
The Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme, which allows farmers to recruit foreign workers, took on 2,425 people from Bulgaria and Romania in the same period.