Recruiting people from outside the UK from 1 January 2021

The Home Office has recently issued guidance for employers who from 1 January 2021, will need to have a sponsor licence to hire most workers from outside the UK.

Here’s what you’ll need to know.

(Updated as of 24 September 2020)

“From 1 January 2021, freedom of movement between the UK and EU will end and the UK will introduce an immigration system that will treat all applicants equally, regardless of where they come from. Anyone you want to recruit from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, will need to apply for permission first.

The requirements are different for each visa.

The new system will not apply to EEA or Swiss citizens you already employ in the UK. EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and their family members, can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. They have until 30 June 2021 to apply.”

Skilled workers

“From 1 January 2021, anyone you recruit from outside the UK for the Skilled Worker route will need to demonstrate that”:

  • they have a job offer from a Home Office licensed sponsor
  • they speak English at the required level
  • the job offer is at the required skill level of RQF3 or above (equivalent to A level)
  • they’ll be paid at least £25,600 or the ‘going rate’ for the job offer, whichever is higher.

Intra-company transfers

If you want to transfer a worker from a part of your business overseas to work for you in the UK, they can apply for the Intra-Company Transfer route. Applicants will need to be existing workers who will undertake roles that meet the skills and salary thresholds.”

From 1 January 2021, workers transferring to the UK will need to:

  • be sponsored as an Intra-Company Transfer by a Home Office licensed sponsor
  • have 12 months’ experience working for a business overseas linked by ownership to the UK business they will work for.
  • be undertaking a role at the required skill level of RQF6 or above (graduate level equivalent)
  • be paid at least £41,500 or the ‘going rate’ for the job, whichever is higher

If you’re already a Home Office licensed sponsor

“If you’re already a licensed Tier 2 (General) visa sponsor, you’ll be automatically granted a new Skilled Worker licence.

If you’re an Intra-Company Transfer sponsor, you’ll be automatically granted a new Intra-Company Transfer licence.”

Apply for a sponsor license

“If you think you’ll want to sponsor migrants from 1 January 2021, you should apply for a sponsor licence now.”

Please be advised that the above information is not exhaustive as there are more requirements and points to consider.

For more information on recruiting people from outside the UK from 1 January 2021, send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk or contact us on 01204 531 535 to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

Thank you for your cooperation and stay safe.

Compass Immigration Law LTD:

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