Purple Card for Employment


If you intend to work in the UK other than self-employed and you cannot obtain a blue registration certificate then you will need a purple registration certificate from the Home Office. A purple registration certificate can only be issued once the UK sponsor (employer) has issued you a Certificate of Sponsorship number from the employer.

What is a Purple registration certificate?

A purple certificate is issued to Croatian nationals who wish to work in the UK but are subject to work authorisation. They are issued to workers and contain the name of the employer that the holder can work for or the category of work they can engage in.


Why do I need a Purple registration certificate to work?

When Croatia joined the EU on the 1 July 2013, it permitted Croatians to enter the EU market freely for a limited period. Unless you register as self-employed or as a student that agrees not to work, Croatians must register with the Home Office if they wish to reside in the UK beyond three months. If you plan to work in the UK for an employer it is illegal to work until the Home Office approves your application. Both the employer and you can receive a civil penalty for illegal employment.

On the 1 July 2020 Croatian nationals will no longer fall under this rule but until then they must comply to UK employment laws. Once Croatia has been part of the EU for seven years restrictions on their right to work is lifted.


How to apply for a purple registration certificate?

You will need to have the following:

  1. A genuine job offer (not self-employed contract)
  2. A CoS reference ID
  3. You will need a letter from your employer if your work falls under:
    • A domestic servant in a private household or
    • The sole representative of an overseas business or
    • A postgraduate doctor or dentist doing a foundation programme
  4. You might have to provide evidence of your level of English for certain jobs.


Can I add family members to my purple registration application?

Yes you can. If your application is approved and your family member meets the guidelines of being a family member, your family members will get a blue registration certificate. Once you have worked legally in the UK, only then can you apply for a blue card.


Can my family members apply after obtained my purple registration?

Yes they can.

Who can apply as family members?

Family members falls under two categories, they are:

  1. Direct family members
  2. Extended family members

The term ‘extended family member’ refers to the definition of extended family member given in regulation 8 of the EEA Regulations 2006. Extended family members include: relatives of the EEA national, or of their spouse or civil partner, who do not qualify as direct family members, these include more distant dependent family members, such as:

  • siblings
  • cousins
  • aunts and uncles
  • other more distant relatives
  • the unmarried partner of an EEA national, provided the couple is in a durable relationship. 


Family members who are Croatian

Members of your family who are Croatian can work if you:

  • have permission to work legally in the UK – or don’t need permission
  • are settled in the UK

They don’t need a document to prove they can work, but they can apply for a blue registration certificate which shows they have the right to work without any restrictions.

Until they’ve worked for 12 months, their certificate will only be valid while you have permission to work, or while you’re a student, self-sufficient or self-employed.

Until they’ve worked continuously for 12 months, they’ll only be able to work without asking for permission while their family sponsor in the UK is working legally or is a student, self-employed or self-sufficient.


If you have a purple registration certificate

They can apply for an accession residence card. It will show employers they’re allowed to work in the UK.


If you have a blue or yellow registration certificate (or no certificate)

They can apply for a residence card. It will show employers they’re allowed to work in the UK.



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