UK’s new points-based immigration system – Employer guidance

UK’s new points-based immigration system – Employer guidance

The way you hire from the EU is changing. From 1 January 2021, you will need to register as a licensed sponsor to hire eligible people from outside the UK.

Free movement is ending, and the new points-based immigration system will introduce job, salary and language requirements that will change the way you hire from the EU. The new system will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and transform the way in which employers recruit from outside the UK.

You’ll need a sponsor licence to hire most eligible employees from outside the UK. Some immigration routes, such as Global Talent, are ‘unsponsored’. You don’t need a licence to hire employees with an unsponsored visa.

Click here for more information and advice for businesses and individuals.

EU citizens you already employ

The new system will not apply to EU employees already working for you in the UK.

EU citizens and their family members living in the UK by 31 December 2020 can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Those eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme must apply by 30 June 2021.

How to become a sponsor

Before applying to be a sponsor you should:

– check that the people you want to hire will meet the requirements for coming to the UK for work

– check your business is eligible

To apply, you will need to:

1. choose the type of skilled worker licence you want to apply for

2. put appropriate systems in place to act as a sponsor

3. apply online and pay the fee

Who you can hire as a sponsor

As a licensed sponsor, you will be able to hire eligible employees from anywhere in the world. To hire someone from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, the job you are advertising must meet the minimum skill and salary thresholds:

– the minimum skill level will be set at RQF3 (equivalent to A level)

– the minimum salary threshold will be the higher of £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for that job – some employees may be paid less than £25,600, for example if their job is in a shortage occupation

– any applicants from outside the UK must also meet English language requirements

If the above requirements are met and you are a licensed sponsor, you will be able to sponsor their application to come to the UK to work.

Click here for more information and advice for businesses and individuals.

Click here to download this guide as a PDF.

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