24 July 2020

New Point Based UK Work Visa Policy

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From 1 January 2021 the UK will adopt a new points-based immigration system that will see EU and non-EU citizens treated equally when applying for visas.

The new system will allocate points for individual qualifications, skills, salaries and shortage occupations and those seeking to come to the United Kingdom to work will only be granted visas once they are able to show that they have collected the required points.

People who wish to work in the UK as a skilled worker will need to demonstrate the following:

Job Offer –have a job offer from a Home Office approved employer;

Skill Level – the job offer is at the required RQF 3 or above skill level;

Language – can speak English;

Minimum Salary Threshold – they earn more than the required minimum salary of £25,600 or the appropriate rate for that specific job as set by the Government; or

Shortage Occupation – if they are unable to show that they earn more than the required minimum salary threshold but can demonstrate a salary of at least £20,480, approval may still be granted where the job offer is in a specific shortage occupation.

A minimum of 70 points will be required to be granted with leave to enter / remain to work in the UK. The points granted for each element is as follows:

Characteristics

Tradeable

Points

Offer of job by approved sponsor

No

20

Job at appropriate skill level

No

20

Speaks English at required level

No

10

Salary of £20,480 to £23,039

Yes

0

Salary of £23,040 to £25,599

Yes

10

Salary of £25,600 or above

Yes

20

Job in a shortage occupation as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee

Yes

20

Education qualification: PhD in a subject relevant to the job

Yes

10

Education qualification: PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job

Yes

20

 

Employers will be required to submit an application to the Home Office for the status of an approved sponsor if they want to recruit workers from outside the UK from 01 January 2021. To make an application, employers will need to fulfil the following:

  • Eligibility – demonstrate that they do not have any unspent criminal convictions for immigration offences, fraud, money laundering and other specific crimes;
  • Skill Level – check that the job meets the required skill level which can be done using the Standard Occupational Classification (“SOC”) code and Appendix J of the Immigration Rules;
  • Type of Licence – consider whether they need to apply for either a Tier 2 licence (skilled workers with long-term job offers) or a Tier 5 licence (skilled temporary workers);
  • Appoint – appoint specific people to manage the sponsorship process using the Sponsorship Management system (“SMS”). The roles included an Authorising Officer, a Key Contact and a User; and
  • Apply – pay a fee, the cost of which will vary depending on the type of licence being applied for and the size of the businesses.

EU nationals residing in the UK are eligible to apply for a residence card under the EU Settlement Scheme and will have until 30 June 2021 to submit their application. This will mean they are excluded from the new points-based system and will have leave to remain in the UK subject to the conditions of the Scheme being met.

Companies / employers who are looking to employ people from outside the UK are advised to apply and become an approved sponsor. The application process can take between 8 – 12 weeks and it is recommended to start the process now.

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

About the Author

Qazi Muhammad Atif Ali

Qazi Muhammad Atif Ali View author's profile | More posts from author

+44 (0) 7564192215

q.ali@connaughtlaw.com


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