Immigration Rules for Businesses Employing EU nationals after Brexit revealed

Since the UK voted in 2016 to leave the European Union (Brexit), businesses have been waiting on immigration rules & regulation regarding the employment of EU nationals. The Government has been slowly releasing new immigration rules that business owners and employers need to be aware of.

The rules will be coming into effect from the 1st of December 2020 and will only be covering EU nationals from 1st of January 2021.

Businesses looking to hire EU nationals from the 1st of January 2021 will be required to apply for a visa sponsor license. The recently published regulations show that there will be significant differences between current sponsorship and what will come into effect in January.  

The rules will be coming into effect from the 1st of December 2020 and will only be covering EU nationals from 1st of January 2021.

This is what we know so far:

  • Sponsored work Visas will be called the Skilled Worker Visa.
  • The current qualifying level for this is degree level or RQF Level 6 (Regulated Qualifications Framework). This will be reduced to A level (RQF Level 3). This means that such jobs as Claims Assessor, Property Manager, Care Home Manager and more will become eligible for sponsorship.
  • The required salary for these positions will be reduced from £30,000 to £25,600.
  • Lower salaries may also be accepted if the candidate has a relevant PhD qualification or they will be filling in for a recognised shortage occupation role. The list of shortage occupation list will be reviewed by the Home Office after it has asset the effect of COVID-19.
  • There will be no Resident Labour Market Test. Now a business can hire anybody for a sponsored role rather than having to prove that there were no suitable resident candidates for a role. 
  • The “cooling-off” period will be removed making it easier to move into the Skilled Worker tier from within the UK. This has been previously a problem for Tier 2 Visa holders (Intra Company Transfer) who have moved to the UK for a limited period of time but want to remain in the UK for full-time employment. 
  • This new system will only apply to EU nationals moving to the UK after the 31st of December 2020.

Although it may seem like the rules for acquiring the Skilled Worker visa is being relaxed these rules still represent changes for businesses that rely on workers from the EU. Having to sponsor a visa will be an entirely new experience for most employers. Not to mention the financial implications of the new immigration regulations. Businesses wanting to sponsor visas will be required to pay for a license application fee (up to £1476), Certificate of Sponsorship fee (£199) and the Immigration Skill Charge (up to £1,000/year). Some companies often offer to cover the employee’s immigration health charge and their visa application fee.

Even if you do not employ anybody from the EU at the moment, it is still worth considering the implications of the new regulations for any future recruitment that you may do. 

If you have any questions regarding the application process, the new immigration rules or Brexit, please do not hesitate to get in touch by calling  0161 917 5071 or by filling out the form below

This publication is a general guide and summary of the law and should not be construed as legal advice. It should not be acted upon or relied upon in any way and should not replace legal advice which is bespoke to your particular circumstances.


GWA Law 2020©



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