Brexit: Employing skilled migrant workers

Written by Leigh Foster

As of 1st January 2021, free movement will end, and the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system. This will treat all EU and non-EU citizens equally and completely transform the way all migrants come to the UK to work. This now means that anyone coming to the UK for work must meet a specific set of requirements for which they will score points. A visa will then be awarded to those who gain enough points.

 

 

This will allow UK based companies to recruit skilled workers from around the world using a number of different immigration routes. As of 1st January 2021, any UK based company looking to bring in EU and Non-EU citizens must become a licensed sponsor of skilled migrant workers. I have put together a simple guide on how your company can obtain this license, including the next steps.

Is your organisation eligible? 

• First of all, check the people you want to hire are eligible to come into the UK under the new points-based system.
• Ensure you can provide the necessary supporting documents (https://www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers/applyfor-your-licence) for your sponsor licence application.
• You cannot have any unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences or certain other crimes such as fraud and money laundering.

Can your organisation manage its licence? 

• You will need to appoint dedicated individuals within the organisation to manage the sponsorship process when you apply.
• These individuals will be responsible in ensuring your organisation remains compliant within the requirements of the licence.
• You will need to keep records of the staff you will be sponsoring in order to report this to UKVI (The UK Visas and Immigration Department)

Applying for your licence 

• Apply online and pay the fee (https://www.gov.uk/applysponsor-licence)
• The fee depends on the type of licence you are applying for and the size of your organisation. This will range from £535 to £1,476 and if successful will be valid for 4 years.
• Send your supporting documents to UKVI and confirm how many staff you plan to recruit in the current finance year through the scheme.
• Each member sponsored costs between £21 and £199, plus the usual visa application fees (https://www.gov.uk/visa-fees)

Sponsoring a worker 

• Once your application has been successful and you start to employ EU and Non-EU citizens, they must first apply for a visa to work in the UK.
• You are then required to endorse your prospective employee’s via through your sponsor licence account and request a ‘Certificate of Sponsorship’
• Pay the Immigration Skills Charge. This is £1,000 for the first year and then £500 for each additional 6 months, or £364 and £182 respectively if classed as a small business or charity.
• The employee must then submit their visa under the same category as your licence.

Once the application is successful, they may travel to the UK and start working. 

This is a new process and potentially time consuming for your organisation during what is and will continue to be testing times with Brexit, IR35 and COVID-19. Here at Pertemps Managed Solutions, we have a number of innovative services we can offer to reshape how your organisation can source, engage and retain talent. Visit our website for more information.

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