As flights and buses arriving today showed, many Romanians and Bulgarians have been living in Britain for years.
But we should also be welcoming new arrivals, just as Britons arriving in France, Spain and other European states find themselves welcomed.
It's time to end the toxic immigration debate and acknowledge that, whether they are nurses and doctors coming to work in the NHS, computer game designers or building workers, Romanians and Bulgarians, as with other immigrants, will be contributing to our society.
Some will settle, some will only be here for a few years, and they reflect the mobile nature of life in the modern world which enriches all of our lives.
– Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales
Victor Spiresau has arrived in the UK from Romania today in order to find a job in construction, he told ITV News.
The 30-year-old said he earned 10 euros a day working on building sites at home and that he hopes to make 10 euros an hour here, but was not planning on settling.
"I don't want to stay here. I want to renovate my home and to make a good life in Romania because it's much easier to live in Romania because it's not expensive."
Mr Spiresau said he already has work lined up washing cars in London but hopes to go on to work in the construction industry. He said he chose to come to the UK over other European countries as he can speak the language.
The Government has done "everything possible" to ensure people come to the UK for the right reasons, the Home Office has said.
Speaking ahead of today's rule change, a Home Office spokesman said, "Hard-working people expect and deserve an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and legitimate migrants and tough on those who abuse the system and flout the law.
"We welcome those that want to come here to work and contribute to the economy, but no EU national has unrestricted access to the UK - they must be working, studying or self-sufficient.
"Across Government, we are working to ensure that our controls on accessing benefits and services, including the NHS and social housing, are amongst the tightest in Europe to protect the UK from abuse."
Romanians and Bulgarians have unrestricted access to the UK labour market from today, despite last-ditch efforts to prevent a feared wave of fresh immigration.
As Prime Minister David Cameron and Home Secretary Theresa May roll out tough new measures designed to tackle concerns that the Government is a soft touch on immigration, temporary curbs imposed in 2005 on citizens of Romania and Bulgaria have been lifted.
Ninety senior Conservatives attempted to block the move in a letter to the Prime Minister, arguing he could invoke a clause in EU law to keep the borders shut.
But ministers have denied such a move would be feasible.
A top Tory warned that a minority of the immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria could escalate existing problems, including pickpocketing and defecating on doorsteps.
Philippa Roe, Conservative leader of Westminster City Council, told BBC Radio 4's The World At One programme: "I know the vast majority of Romanians and Bulgarians planning to come to the UK are planning to work and contribute to society here.
"I think the fear that everybody faces, which is reflected in the media, is those that come to Britain and either fail to find jobs and therefore fall back on our welfare system, or those who deliberately come here to pickpocket and aggressively beg.
"We have seen in the past 18 months, particularly the Roma in central London, causing a massive amount of disruption and low-level crime which has made a very negative impact on our communities.
"It's this minority one is really concerned about but it is this minority that has this really big impact.
"You've only got to wander around Marble Arch at 7.30 in the morning to see the camps.
"We have people walking out of their front door to find people sleeping on their front doorsteps, people defecating on their front doorstep.
"It's extremely unpleasant and it goes with the very aggressive begging and pickpocketing and other sorts of crime in the area which affects both residents and tourists."