On 9 April 2020, the UK Government published guidance on the new points-based immigration system, which will come into effect on 1 January 2021.
All EU and non-EU applicants will be treated equally and dealt with under the same system, which the Government claims will prioritise skills over nationality; whilst reducing overall levels of migration.
The new system works by attributing points to certain skills, qualifications, salaries and occupations. To be awarded a UK working visa, applicants must have at least 70 points.
From 1 January 2021, applicants wishing to work in the UK must meet the following criteria:
Employers can be assured that the UK will continue to welcome talented graduates under the new rules. The most highly skilled workers will be able to use the Global Talent route to enter the UK without a job offer, provided they are endorsed by the relevant competent body e.g. Tech Nation, The Royal Academy of Engineering, UKRI and others. There will also be a new immigration route for international graduates who have completed a degree in the UK from summer 2021.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens already living in the UK prior to 31 December 2020 will need to apply for settled status to remain living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021.
Becoming a Sponsor
After 1 January 2021, employers must apply to become sponsors if they want to recruit workers from outside the UK. Until then, current immigration rules continue to apply. An application takes eight weeks to process, and the cost is variable depending on the type of visa you wish to sponsor (Tier 2 for permanent positions and/or Tier 5 for temporary positions) and your annual turnover.
If you are an employer seeking advice on employing migrant skilled workers in the UK, please contact our Employment & Holistic HR team at email@example.com. We shall be very pleased to introduce you to our specialist immigration law consultant Nicola Richards.