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Business Immigration Solicitors

Business Immigration: Skilled Worker Route and Brexit (4 March 2021)

Date: 04/03/2021
Duncan Lewis, Business Immigration Solicitors, Business Immigration: Skilled Worker Route and Brexit

Freedom of movement for EEA nationals ended on 1st January 2021 where they must now comply with the requirements under ‘the new immigration system’. It is important to note that the new immigration rules do not adversely impact those European Nationals together with qualifying family members already in the United Kingdom, or those that arrived by the 31st December 2020 as they are able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme(EUSS) to remain in the UK until 30 June 2021. The EUSS will grant either pre-settled status (which can be upgraded to settled status after 5 years leave), or settled status allowing EU nationals to continue to work and live in the UK.

The new business immigration rules for workers

The necessity for employers to have a sponsorship licence and comply with the necessary duties remains at the heart of the new immigration rules. The skilled worker route (previously known as Tier 2 (General) introduced some key changes as follows:

  • Tier 2 has been replaced by the new Skilled Worker route

  • The immigration cap has been suspended where there is now no limit on the number of skilled workers who can work in the UK

  • There is no longer a requirement for employers to advertise a job (as previously required under the Resident Labour Market test). This will speed up the process for sponsoring skilled workers by at least a month. Employers would still need to demonstrate a genuine need for the role where the worker has the necessary skills, qualification and experience for the position.

  • The skills threshold has been reduced from Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 6 (degree level) to RQF level 3 or above (A level standard). This now opens a large number of new roles that would qualify for sponsorship.

  • The minimum salary threshold has been reduced to £25,600 or the going rate for the role, whichever is higher.

  • There is more scope to switch into this category from inside the UK rather than apply from abroad and the cooling off period no longer applies.

  • It is possible to earn additional ‘tradable’ points’ for those earning below the minimum salary threshold/going rate for a particular role, where the applicant holds a PHD, where a job is on the shortage occupation list or deemed to be a ‘new entrant’.

Those companies and organisations that already have a sponsorship licence will not have to apply for a new sponsorship licence. Their sponsorship licence would have been transferred to the new system. Tier 2 general visa holders would not be required to take any action, however they would need to meet the requirements when seeking to obtain an extension or indefinite leave to remain.

Businesses, organisations, institutions and employees without a sponsorship licence who need to sponsor EU and Non EU workers should contact author, Ayan Yalchin on 020 7275 2011 or at ayany@duncanlewis.com.

Ayan Yalchin is a business immigration director at Duncan Lewis Solicitors with more than 19 years’ post-qualification experience acting on behalf of individuals and businesses in a variety of immigration related proceedings. Ayan can assist with your sponsorship licence application ensuring your systems comply with the Home Office requirements, with applying and assigning certificate of sponsorships, incoming migrants with their Tier 2 visa and prepare your restaurant for potential Home Office inspections.

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