The introduction of the new points-based immigration system at the end of this year is something COVID-19 has not put a halt to!
The Home Office has launched a new campaign to remind UK businesses to get ready. Free movement of EU nationals will end on 31 December 2020. Businesses that want to recruit staff from outside the UK will need to have a sponsor licence after this date.
A sponsor licence enables an employer to recruit skilled workers under the points-based system. Currently, the Home Office says that most sponsor licence applications are dealt with in less than eight weeks. A priority service may be rolled out in November. However, businesses are against the clock to get themselves on the register of sponsors before the end of the year. This does not take into account that standard processing times are likely to increase as the Home Office has an influx of new sponsor licence applications. The time it takes to gather the supporting evidence that must accompany a sponsor licence application is often underestimated. Our advice is do not delay!
The team at Dentons is ready to assist UK businesses with their sponsor licence applications. Please do get in touch with your usual Dentons contact if we can help.
Once this first administrative step has been completed, the good news is that previous hurdles which needed to be overcome to recruit a skilled worker under the points-based system have been axed. The Resident Labour Market Test has been removed. The skills and salary thresholds have been lowered. The cap on the number of skilled workers that can come to the UK has been suspended. This is all good news for businesses, but by no means should it imply that they can rest on their laurels.
Please get in touch and visit www.gov.uk/uk-visa-sponsorship-employers for more information.