Lower-skilled workers coming to the UK from Romania and Bulgaria will only be able to work in the food processing and agricultural sectors, the government has announced.
Businesses in areas other than food processing and agriculture will have to prove they need workers before immigration is permitted, according to home secretary John Reid.
A Migration Advisory Council is to be introduced to provide guidance on how low-skilled immigration should be managed, he said.
Reid said the “needs” of the UK’s labour market would be key to decisions on allowing immigration.
“Employers will need to convince the government there is a genuine labour shortage and such schemes would be limited by quota,” he added.
The countries join the EU in January. The curbs contrast with the ‘open door’ policy when another eight states joined in 2004.
Bulgarian government officials have predicted that about 36,000 people would want to move to the UK from Bulgaria.