The Home Office has today issued new Guidance for employers regarding the UK’s post-Brexit immigration system which will apply with effect from 1 January 2021.
The new immigration system will apply to all non-UK nationals who want to come and work in the UK after 1 January 2021. It will apply to EU and non-EU nationals alike (aside from EU nationals who have obtained settled or pre-settled status).
The main route of entry under the new immigration regime will be based on Tier 2 of the current Points Based System. This is for skilled workers who have a job from an approved employer.
In order to access this route of entry, employers will need to register to become licensed sponsors under the immigration rules. The Government guidance states that:
“If you are not currently approved to be a sponsor but think that you are likely to need to sponsor skilled migrant workers from 1 January 2021, you can apply for approval (a “sponsor licence” ) now”.
Any employer wanting to apply in readiness for the new post-Brexit regime, will need to meet all the current requirements for sponsors. The only exception is that where they are only looking to sponsor migrants after 1 January 2021, employers will only need to demonstrate that they are able to offer work at RQF Level 3 and above.
The guidance goes on to state:
“You are encouraged to apply early, even if you are not currently in a position to sponsor migrants under the existing system, or are not sure if you will need to sponsor migrants under the new system from January 2021”.
When making this application, employers must understand the immigration compliance requirements and responsibilities associated with becoming a sponsor. The guidance states that:
“if your application is refused, we will not refund your application fee and you will not be eligible to apply again for at least 6 months (longer in some cases)”.
Getting it right first time is business critical if you want to make sure that you are able to recruit EU national employees after 1 January 2021.
In the midst of the corona virus crisis, we understand that this may not be top of the list of immediate priorities for business, but it is critical that businesses plan ahead for these changes, and the significant impact that the end of free movement will have on recruitment and the war for talent going forwards.
The Business Immigration team at Brabners has a wealth of experience in dealing with sponsor licence applications. If you would like to discuss making a licence application on a fixed fee basis, please get in touch.