Newport docks and the steel industry attracted people from across the globe, contributing to a diverse ethnic population.

People from countries such as Ireland, Somalia and Bangladesh came over to live and work and many of them settled in Newport.

Today, Newport continues to attract people from a wide range of countries who come to live and work for a shorter or longer period.


Migrant workers

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) a migrant worker is:

‘a person who is to be engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national’.

Migrant workers do not include refugees or asylum seekers

The distinguishing factor between migrant workers from European and non-European countries is the procedure by which they enter the UK to work.


European Economic Area (EEA) Citizens of EEA member countries and citizens of Switzerland have the right to live and work in any country belonging to the EEA and Switzerland (known as the 'right of residence') if they can financially support themselves without becoming an unreasonable burden on public funds.

In addition to the United Kingdom, the EEA countries are:





 Czech   Republic
























 Spain *


* including Canaries and the Balearics

Citizens of Romania and Bulgaria must secure prior permission to enter and work in the UK, unless they are self-employed/setting up their own business.

Points based system

In 2008, the government introduced the points based system regulating immigration to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Migrants must pass a points assessment before they get permission to enter or remain in the UK.

Read more about entry criteria for migrant workers on the UK Border Agency website.

Health and housing

Migrant workers from EEA member-countries (and Switzerland) living in Newport can access health and housing services through the same process as any other Newport resident.

Migrant workers from non-European countries have ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ which means that they have to pay for health services, and have to access private rented accommodation or buy accommodation.


Ask for the migration policy officer at Newport City Council.