The UK’s points-based immigration system: employer information

The Home Office have recently issued guidance to help employers prepare for the UK’s new points-based immigration system.

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 04 January 2021)

What is the UK’s points-based immigration system?

Due to free movement between the UK and EU ending on 31 December 2020, the UK has introduced a points-based immigration system to ensure equality between EU and non-EU citizens.

How will the UK’s points-based immigration system impact employers?

Excluding Irish citizens, if you wish to hire from outside the UK, permission will be required in advance.

A sponsor license is needed for more eligible employees from outside the UK and before application, it is essential to check if employees meet the conditions for coming to the UK to work.

With the points-based immigration system, points will be accrued to those who meet the specific requirements. At this time, visas will be granted to those with sufficient points.

Under the points-based immigration system, UK employers can recruit worldwide through numerous immigration routes.

How do I become a licensed sponsor under the UK’s points-based immigration system?

Before you begin an application, you must ensure the potential employees will meet the requirements for coming to the UK to work.

The wait time for an application is usually 8 weeks and will commence from when the application is received. As a licensed sponsor, you can hire globally.

Unsponsored routes such as ‘Global Talent’ do not require a license to hire employees.

Irish citizens or those from the resident labour market with existing rights to work in the UK do not need a sponsor to work in the UK. This is inclusive of EU citizens with settled / pre-settled status, and non-EU citizens with an Indefinite Leave to Remain status in the UK.

Additionally, you will need to:

  1. Check your business is eligible
  2. Determine the type of skilled worker license you require
  3. Determine who will manage sponsorship within the business
  4. Apply online and pay a fee

Which routes are available under the UK’s points-based immigration system?

There are numerous routes available under the UK’s points-based immigration system. These include:

  • Skilled worker route
  • Global Talent route
  • Graduate route
  • Intra-company Transfer
  • Start-up and Innovator
  • Health and Care Visa
  • Creative route
  • Sporting routes

How will I know whether a job meets the required skill level under the UK’s points-based immigration system?

Under the UK’s points-based immigration system, jobs will have corresponding Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes. As each SOC code has an assigned skill level, this will be used to determine if a job meets the Skilled Worker route conditions.

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

For more information provided by Bolton’s leading Immigration Solicitors on The UK’s points-based immigration system: employer information, send an email to 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.

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