Buna ziua dnule,
I am a Romanian citizen as well and I am willing to share my experience with this HOME-OFFICE.......I applied as a self-employed person as well and the form I used it was the old BR1 Form. I considered myself entitled to have the Registration Certificate and I didn't bother too much to prove that I am a genuine Interpreter, as long as I am. I made the mistake to assume that the officers from the HOME OFFICE are competent, consistant with the information provided and if there is something needed or missing I will be told, by email, phone, letter, etc. For example, they called one of my main clients only one after 5 months (from the date I post the form and the doc., and during this time, this director changed his mobile phones; The couldn't get hold of them, but they never let me know about this, even though few days after their call, I contacted them to find out about the status of my application). One phone call only! And BANG refused! They could have used the director's email, but they didn't...I sent them my passport and they returned it in my prepaid SAE, but the amazing thing is that one letter from Home Office was saying that I am entitled to apply using AIT included and pre-tyoed form to be reassessed; the other one, was having one row in which I was allowed to reapply and one in which they said I didn't provide my passport and I have therefore no right to reapply.......I could't believe......If Home Office is so useless, no wonder why HM Revenue and Customs is keeping their files in the rubish bins....or is letting anybody to get hold of confidential information.........No wonder why Britain is economically going down.......No wonder.........But don't worry, the foreigners are the first to be blamed about everything...It's easier and more conforting to believe that anyone else is stupid or guilty, but yourself........
I was refused to have the Certificate in mid 2008 after waiting 6 months for their decision.
After my 'failure', I adviced all my Romanian friends or acquintances what to do to not face the same result. I didn't bother too much with their decision, as I could carry on with my work and my studies in order to learn how to develop my business. They sorted out their Certificates and I am very happy for my co-nationals.
So, no matter what are you applying for, here is what I know from my experience, my friends, my Citizen Advuce Bureau Officer, my calls, my search online, etc:
-make sure you download the latest BR1 (or whatever no is) Form possible, as they keep adding things which they weren't there before in the same type form;
-make sure you have the invoices up to date and as many as possible for different clients; if you don't, tell them with no fear, you can't find too many clients and you are taking courses to improve your business, or you are making search online to develop it, or you are at the beginning and this is what you could work; it is not illegal to not make money out of your self-employment situation; you are entitled to be at least as stupid as the treat you........., so you can be broke; you are anyhow not entiled to access public funds, so you can sign a declareation that you are not going to do this, if they tell you how are you going to provide for yourself; or you have a husband or, whenever you run out of money or clients and you see it's not working fine for you, YOU ARE FREE TO RETURN TO ROMANIA, which you will do, if no income is coming into your bank account; we all have families in Romania and we can help each other there in case of REAL FAILURE;
-even if you are planning to work as a DOCTOR, joking, better apply for self-employed status as a cleaner; they do not accept easily that we can be as good as them (even though the sencond language spoken at Microsoft is Romanian....); as a cleaner, you can have many clients, quickly, they do not have to be all English native speakers, as all nations are cleaning their houses and you don't have to have invoices from 'academic' professionals. companies, etc;
-make a PEO Appointment over the phone, (YES, the one which is for all the nation in the world, all the matter, joking, the phone line which is always busy and the minimum waiting time is 15 minutes, if you are lucky and if it's busy it is still charging you, as they tell you THEY ARE TELLING YOU THEY ARE BUSY............) ; at this appointment, take with you all the documents in the list, but do not give them any document not relevant; nothing to give them reasons to talk to you to ask questions or to put you in difficulty; the response has to be given to you in the very same day;
-if you are refused, don't panic, make enquiries WHY and make another appointment, as soon as possible and adapt to what they say; ask for their response to be in writing, if you are refused, if possible;
-bring a bank statement, not ten, not 3, ONE; the best, with all the amount required; If you don't have money into your account, ask for friens to give you max £3,000 for a week; put this money into your account couple of days before the bank statement is issued; then take them out and use the bank statement which shows this money, not the next one which has no money in it; the Home Office will not access your bank account as you are not a criminal, the bank statement is yours and only disclosed when you are in breach of law (at that moment you would be in prison, not in Croydon);
-if they ask you details of your life, keep it simple; DON'T FORGET, YOU ARE STUPID, THAT'S THE WAY THEY THINK ABOUT YOU, SO USE THIS IN YOUR FAVOUR; IF THERE IS AN INTERPRETER THERE TO HELP, DON'T CONSIDER THE INTERPRETER YOUR FRIEND AND TELL HIM EVERYTHING; THEY ARE OBLIGED BY THE CODE OF CONDUCT AND PRACTISE TO INTERPRET EVERYTHING YOU SAY, EVEN WHEN YOU SAY, DON'T TELL THEM; IT'S NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE MEAN, IT'S HOW THE JOB IS; YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH, THEY ARE YOUR VOICE IN ENGLISH; OTHERWISE THEY COULD LOOSE THEIR JOB IF FOUND OUT THAT THEY WEREN'T IMPARTIAL;
-keep your stories to the point: I came here for x reason (married, work opportunities, make money and go home, study English, but you don't know what you will do in the future, as you may stay longer or not depending how your job/ course/ progress in English/ etc is);
-don't get intimidated by their questions; they may seems that they know everything about you, but they just pretend this; they have no idea about where Romania is on the map;
-if you earn less than around £ 5,000- £6,000 (check the SA100 form for taxing self-emplyed people - Self-Assessment Tax Calculation, I believe it's called, where the amount is updated every year), you don't have to pay taxes; as as we Romanian are not allowed to access Public Funds, as we are stupid, we DO NOT EARN MORE THAN THIS AMOUNT ISN'T IT, SO WE DON'T PAY TAXES FOR THE OTHERS TO TAKE ADVANTEGE OF OUR HARD WORK........;
-ALSO, IF YOU SON'T EARN MORE THAN THIS AMOUNT, YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY NINO, IF YOU PLAN TO GO BACK TO ROMANIA, AS YOU WON'T GET PENSION FROM THIS STATE, SO PLEASE APPLY FOR AN EXCEMPTION CERTIFICATE FORM THE HM REVENUE AND CUSTOMS;
-I strongly advice you to take your money for which you worked and make sure you don't pay tax or NINo if no needed;
-if after 10 years or one you decide to go home for good, please ask for you money back, YOUR TAXES WHOULD BE RETURNED TO YOU; these are your money for old times , if you retire here; if not, use them for your old age in Romania; you worked for them, and not very easily, you deserve them; It's easy to ask for them back; it's just a form to fill in related to your NINo;
-make sure you have everything at the same address : bank statement, sickenss insurance (which can be cacelled after 14 days of issuing it, so you don't have to get stuck with this; you have to be free to choose after PEO Apointment and after you get their STUPID CERTIFICATE, SO FIND ONLINE A COVER CLOSER TO THE DATE OF YOUR APPOINTMENT AND CANCEL IT AFTERWARDS;
As a self-employed you are not OBLIGED by the Home office TO HAVE A REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE. It's up to you if you want to prove this at a later stage. As long as you are registered with HM Revenue & Customs, you have a NI NO & Card, you are in legality. You can't be deported. You are excercising your TREATY RIGHT as a self-employed. If you have the registration certificate or not, it doesn't make difference in your life. Just makes you feel more 'NOT VULNERABLE'.
Now I'm going back to tell you these:
-due to the lack of professionalism, the advice I was given repeatedly was wrong; I was told the length of the process is not more then 4-6 weeks, than 6 months, than , 'we don't know', etc;
-unfortunately, due to the lack of knowledge into languages and citizenships, many officers and the majority of population believes that we ROMANIANS are Roma/ Romany/Gypsy, and they are RELUCTANT TO HELP US! If somebody would look into Wikipedia to Roma People and Romanian, they will see that Roma are everywhere here; Roma, the Gypsy ancestors are from S-W Pakistan, N-W India, which migrated in 15-16th century in Europe from ASIA; they are poligamous , speaking a Indian dialect, whcih many Romanians would not understand, they have a flag with a wheel in the middle like the Indian flag; they believe in Wichery and all sorts of non-Christian things; they are mostly of HINDU OR SINDH origin; they migrated in Romania and everywhere else; they have Hungarian, Polish, Romanian (500 thousands Gypsy minority with Romanian passport out of 23 million Romanian citizenships) and British citizenship, etc depending on the country they are settled in; I would be extremely infuriated if I would be gypsy from Hungary and told that I am Romanian, because the names are so confused, by ignorant people, SOME OF WHICH WHO ARE , UNFORTUNATELY, ALSO LEADING THIS COUNTRY; we, Romanians are Orthodox-Christian, monogamous, settled down with a history of 2000 years in Europe, speaking a language based on OLD LATIN, etc.; the differeences are big, but not highlighted by the British Government or by The Eu Parliament, as THEY, THE POWERS OF THE POWERS, DECIDED TO DESCRIMINATE ROMANIANS AND BULGARIANS AT THEIR JOINING IN THE EU.....COMPARED TO ALL THE OTHER NATIONS....SPEAKING ABOUT THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES....AND THE FAIRNESS OF THE EU POLICY......
GOOD LUCK AND GOOD BUY! SORRY FOR SOME INADVERTENCES AND SPELLING MISTAKES, BUT I AM IN A HURRY TO DO MANY OTHER THINGS.
Hope all Romanian will succeed with waht they want. Good luck, courage (don't be agresive if pissed of, but just firm and PLAY BY THEIR RULES FOR YOUR BEST INTEREST - 'CAINII LATRA, URSUL MERGE!')
Anyhow, don't forget British people living in Spain are EXPATS - Romanians in the UK are IMMIGRANTS. .......