The UK's points-based immigration system comes into full effect on 1st January 2021 when the Brexit transition period ends. From this point forward, all businesses looking to hire migrant workers from anywhere in the world will do so through the points-based system.
This will be a marked change for UK firms as many will never have needed to engage with an employer sponsorship system or navigate complex visa processes. CBI research indicates that under one in ten (8%) of firms that intend to use the new system understand and are prepared to use it, whilst around half (47%) say that they don’t fully understand it and don’t know how to prepare.
Delays to government updating the Immigration Rules and opening the new routes for applications mean that it is too late for businesses that are not already licensed sponsors to be ready for 1st January. However, it is imperative that businesses begin preparations now if they anticipate needing to hire from abroad from 2021.
To support UK firms in this endeavour, the CBI has collaborated with Deloitte to produce an employer-focussed guide to the new system. This guide highlights the core detail that all firms need to know about the system and provides practical advice on how best to engage with it.
Reading our guide will help you to:
1- See the key changes that are taking place as part of the move to the points-based immigration system
The new system will be familiar to those that have previously used the Tier 2 non-EU visa system. However, there are several key changes happening as part of the move which firms should be aware of such as the removal of the Resident Labour Market Test and the removal of the cap on visas.
2- Assess whether the new system is an option for filling your vacancy
Not all roles are eligible for the new system. So, it is important to consider whether your vacancy meets the minimum skill and salary thresholds. Prospective new hires will need to make sure that they attain 70 points from a range of criteria to be eligible for a UK visa.
3- Navigate the sponsor licence application process
Before starting to think about visas, businesses will need to apply for a sponsor licence for the route that they would like to use. Acquiring a licence can be tricky and it can take a while for approval to be granted by the Home Office.
4- Learn how to apply for visas for your migrant workers
Employer sponsorship is a core principle of the new points-based immigration system. Employers will need to sponsor their prospective hires to so that they can be eligible for a visa. This process can be complicated and requires the individual to take steps as well the business, so communication and planning is important.
5- Understand how to comply with complex Home Office rules
Acquiring your sponsor licence is one thing but maintaining it can be an arduous task as there are many rules that businesses need to be aware of. The Home Office can look to audit firms at any time so good internal processes and record keeping are vital to avoiding any punitive action.
Jump to the section you're most interested in:
- What is changing with the move to the PBS
- How to apply for a sponsor licence
- How much it costs to use the PBS
- More about the Skilled Worker route
- What is changing for Intra-company transfers
Time is also running out to encourage your existing EU national employees to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Learn everything you need to know about the EUSS in our new guide.