Sector Based Scheme (SBS) permits are issued for a maximum period of 12 months. It has been a requirement that SBS permit holders must leave the UK at the end of this period for a minimum period of two months before any further SBS permit will be granted.
However, this requirement has been removed for SBS permit holders from Bulgaria and Romania . Employers may apply for Extension or Change of Employment applications for Bulgarian or Romanian nationals beyond a cumulative 12 months approval period without the SBS permit holder leaving the UK or completing a two month gap between periods of SBS employment, as was previously required.
Once Bulgarian and Romanian nationals have been legally employed in the UK on a continuous basis for twelve months, they are henceforth automatically exempt from work authorisation requirements and may obtain a registration certificate confirming their unrestricted right to access the UK labour market. This twelve month period commences on the first day of lawful employment in the UK .
The requirement to leave the UK after 12 months SBS employment continues to apply to SBS permit holders from countries other than Bulgaria and Romania . Extension or Change of Employment applications will therefore not be granted beyond a cumulative 12 months approval period for nationals from other countries.