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The UK reveals new immigration rules for businesses

UK Immigration

From January 1, 2021, employers in the UK will require a Sponsor Licence in order to hire most of the skilled workers from outside the UK.

From 2021, freedom of movement between the EU and UK will end. The UK will be introducing an immigration system that treats all applicants on an equal footing, irrespective of which part of the world they come from.

Recruiting anyone from outside the UK will require the employer to apply for a prior permission. However, this will not be applicable for hiring the citizens of Ireland.

The specific requirements vary from visa to visa.

Earlier, the UK had reduced the minimum salary threshold for migrants to settle by almost 30%.

Skilled workers

From January 1, 2021, a skilled worker hired from outside the UK through the Skilled Worker route must –

Be paid either a minimum of £25,600 or the “going rate” for their job offer. Whichever is the higher of the two will be applicable.

Applicants with job offers that pay lesser, but not below £20,480, might still be eligible through “tradeable points”.

Speak English at required level
A valid job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor
Job offer is the skill level requirement of RQF3 or above [equivalent to A level]

There will be different salary rules applicable for “new entrants” that are beginning their careers, or workers in certain education and health jobs.

No general route will be available for employers for recruiting workers from outside the UK for jobs that are at a skill level below RQF3 or salary below £20,480.

Intra-company transfers

Through the Intra-Company Transfer route, existing workers can be transferred from a business overseas to the UK for working for the same employer within the UK.

Applicants will be required to meet the minimum skills requirements as well as the salary threshold.

From January 2021, workers that are transferred to the UK by their employer must –

Be paid either a minimum of £41,500 or the “going rate” for their job offer. Whichever is the higher of the two will be applicable.
Be sponsored as an Intra-Company Transfer by a Home Office licensed sponsor.
Have 12 months’ experience working for a business overseas that is linked by ownership to the UK business that they will be working for.

Be taking up a role that is at the needed skill level of RQF6 or above.

RQF6 is equivalent to graduate level.

Certain other UK work visa routes – such as the Global Talent route and the Youth Mobility Scheme – allow the visa holder to work in the UK without any sponsor.

Sponsorship for hiring EU nationals

Now, while most businesses intending to hire EU nationals from January 2021 onwards will be required to get a sponsor licence, there will be certain differences between the new rules and the current sponsorship system.

Skill level needed for sponsorship will be reduced from the current RFQ 6 to RFQ 3. This will lead to more jobs becoming eligible for sponsorship.
Salary required for a work visa to be reduced from £30,000 to £25,600. Lower salaries might be accepted wherein a candidate has a relevant Ph.D. qualification or will be working in a shortage occupation.
No Resident Labour Market Test will be required. With the new changes, employers can hire an individual to fill a sponsored role without the need for demonstrating that there were no other candidates for the same.
The existing cap of the number of work visas is to be suspended. There is a likelihood of the monthly Certificate of Sponsorship being ended.

With the existing “cooling off period” being removed, it be easier to transition onto the Skilled Worker category from within the UK.

This change will prove useful for individuals that have moved to the UK on a temporary assignment through an intra-company transfer but have decided to remain in the UK permanently.

While coming into force from December 1, 2020, the new rules will only be applicable to EU nationals from January 1, 2021.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or  Migrate to the UK, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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