Brexit is one of the most discussed topics that continues to steam forward even during the COVID pandemic. The concept is associated with the end of freedom of movement, the expansion of the points-based system, and the introduction of new visa categories. These changes will act upon immigration opportunities with the post-Brexit Immigration plan in 2021.
On 1 January 2021, freedom of movement with the European Union will end, which implies that residents of the EU will be treated equally to arrivals from the rest of the world. This will undoubtedly transform the way skilled workers come to the UK to work through an employer-led system.
The points-based system will cater to the highly skilled workers, foreign medical workers, students, and a range of other specialist work where points will be assigned based on specific skills, qualifications, salaries, and shortage occupations. Henceforth, visas will be awarded to those who will gain considerable points.
The scheme processes the application of the EU, EEA, or Swiss Citizen and their family currently living in the UK. They will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If the application is successful, they will either be awarded settled or pre-settled status. “Pre-settled status” is a temporary status, while “settled status” is permanent.
The government’s objective is to attract promising and talented workers to the UK. The new Points-based system will include a route for skilled workers (including EU citizens) having a job offer from a Home Office approved sponsor. They will need to demonstrate that they meet a specific set of points for which they will be awarded score points. There will be no overall cap on the number of skilled migrants who can apply under this route. Moreover, employers will be exempted to conduct a resident labour market test.
The route requires the job offer at the required skill level of RQF 3 (Regulated Qualifications Framework Level 3) and satisfies the English Language Test. Meeting these mandatory criteria will offer the applicant with 50 points and in addition, they will need to obtain 20 “tradable” points assessed through the combination of salary, a job in a shortage occupation (as designated by the Migration Advisory Committee), or having an educational qualification (Ph.D. in a subject relevant to the job or STEM subject relevant to the job). The applicant will get an extra 20 points if the applicant is paid higher of the general salary threshold of £25,600 or the going rate for the particular job.
The UK Government has started welcoming the vital contributions from qualified doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals with “Health and Care Visa.” The foreign medical workers must have been trained from a recognized standard. Under the new scheme, the applicants will benefit from fast-track entry, reduced visa fees, and exemption from the Immigration Health Surcharge.
The new scheme is an inclusion of the existing Tier 2 (General) immigration category. This implies that the applicants will need a certificate of sponsorship from an employer holding a Tier 2 License. The sponsoring employer must be from an NHS trust, NHS Service Commissioned Service, or eligible occupations in the social care sector. Applicants will only be eligible for this new scheme if their roles fall under the exhaustive list of eligible occupations.
The Global Talent Route is introduced on 20 February 2020, with the vision of attracting recognised global leaders, and the leaders of tomorrow in Science, humanities, engineering, the arts, and digital technology. Under the current system, the Global Talent Visa aims at attracting promising individuals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who work in a qualifying field and who wish to work/run in the field of expertise. The applicants must be endorsed as a recognized leader (exceptional talent), as an emerging talent (exceptional promise), or under the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) endorsed the funder option. From 1 January 2020, this route will be open to both EU and Non-EU citizens.
Startup and Innovator
The UK government has been actively promoting immigration routes to attract an increasing number of talented entrepreneurs. Launched in March 2019, Startup and Innovator routes are primarily designed to attract promising entrepreneurial talent and innovative and scalable business ideas from non-EU citizens. Startup Visa is for those individuals who are setting up an innovative business, whereas Innovator requires individuals with industry experience and at least £50,000 funding. From 1 January 2021, these routes would be open to both EU and non-EU citizens.
There will be no immigration route for the individuals who do not meet the skills or salary thresholds.
Graduate Immigration Route (GIR)
The UK Government has taken a remarkable decision to introduce the Graduate Immigration Route (GIR) in 2019, which permits international students to stay in the UK for 2 years post-study. In this period, students can undertake a job or can look for work in the country. However, this period is not extendable. This route will be implemented in the summer of 2021. All overseas students who graduate in the UK in or after 2021 will be eligible for this immigration route.
Steps Employers can now take
If employers wish to employ a foreign nation, including those from the EU who have not obtained “settled” status under the EU Settlement Scheme, they will need a Sponsor Licence. A sponsor license is a permission granted by the Home Office to an employer who is looking to the global talent market to meet the recruitment needs. Employers must apply to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to evidence their eligibility.
A sponsor license entails making an application to be rated by the Home Office, managing the company’s sponsor management system, and meeting record-keeping duties and obligations.
Are you concerned about the potential consequences of the British Exit from the European Union or the impact of the expansion of the Points-Based on your business? Look no further than A Y & J Solicitors, which is a boutique UK Immigration firm with 10+ years of experience recommended by Legal 500. Our qualified immigration solicitors can provide guidance on the upcoming transition from the freedom of movement to the Point-Based system, the introduction of new visa categories, and the UK immigration opportunities in 2021. For further information about our immigration service, please email us at [email protected] or Whatsapp us on +44 7448 5656 70.