New Immigration Rules

In our new post-Brexit world UK employers need to think differently immigration and about how they recruit and employ EU citizens (not including Irish citizens) as free movement between the UK and EU has ended

The points-based immigration system opened on 1 December for applications for individuals of any nationality who want to come to the UK to work or study from 1 January 2021.

Under the points-based immigration system, points will be awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level, of knowledge of English and being paid a minimum salary. Pay will usually need to be at least £25,600 per annum.

Skilled worker visas will be awarded to those who gain enough points.

Applications are made online, and as part of this, the new recruit will need to prove their identity and provide their documents as well as have the financial means to pay for the application.

If you are planning to recruit EEA and Swiss nationals from 1 January 2021 you will need a Sponsor Licence to be able to do so, more information and the application can be found here. Applications take around 8 weeks to process.

For more details on the new routes for employment and their rules and requirements please click on the links below

Skilled Worker route provides the most flexible arrangement to employ skilled workers from overseas.

Global Talent the route for people with exceptional talent in areas such as science, medicine, arts and culture

Intra-company transfer for workers who are being transferred by the business they work for to do a skilled role in the UK

Pre-settled and Settled Status

If you already employed EU, EEA or Swiss nationals prior to 31 December 2020 they do not need to apply through the points-based immigration system and should instead apply via the EU Settlement Scheme.

Employee’s that are Irish national or have indefinite leave to remain may not need to apply, you can read that guidance here

Applications can be made until 30 June 2021 to gain either pre-settled or settled status.

As an employer it is not your responsibility to make any settlement applications, that is down to the individual themselves.

Action you should take now

  • Carry out an audit to see if you have employees that need to make a status applications or indeed if anyone has already received their status details confirmation
  • Set reminders to follow up with employees that the new rules apply to
  • Record the code given to your employee when their status is granted

After 30 June 2021 you cannot legally employ anyone who doesn’t have a settlement status or who you are not sponsoring and their employment with you will need to end.

If you engage with contractors who are non UK nationals It would be good practice to also include them in your audit to make sure that they have the correct status to carry on working legally in the UK from July.

If you are worried about the status of any current employees or have any questions about sponsoring then we are here to help

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